The Court created the Access to Justice Commission in April 2009. The Commission is made up of ten members. They volunteer their time to help improve access to justice in Tennessee. The Court appoints Commissioners to serve staggered three-year terms. Each member may only serve for two consecutive terms.
The Commission creates a strategic plan every two-to-four years to set out is priorities and objectives. The Court directed the Commission to include how it will educate the public about the legal needs crisis, identify priorities for improving access to justice, and recommend projects and programs to enhance access to justice.
The Commissioners represent all three grand divisions of the state. Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins serves as the Court’s liaison to the Commission. Currently one Commissioner is a judge, seven Commissioners are lawyers, and two are community leaders. The membership is diverse in ethnicity, gender and geographic. Each Commission member has a strong background in public service initiatives.
The Court enabled the Commission to form advisory committees to help it accomplish its goals. The Commission relies heavily on the volunteer members of its advisory committees. Currently there are four advisory committees: Pro Bono & Community Engagement, Public Awareness & Partnership, Tools & Resource Development, and Data Leadership & Steering.