The Tennessee Faith & Justice Summit

Where faith and legal communities partner

The TN Faith & Justice Summit is an annual summit where the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission's Faith Based Committee brings together members of the legal and justice community with faith-based leaders, the faith-based community, and more to build partnerships and actionable steps to help communities across the state.
The Summit is a full day where experts in their field can discuss ongoing work, demonstrate processes and best practices, share experiences, and hear back from local communities. The Summit also provides educational talks on relevant legal issues concerning Tennessee communities; such as how to identify legal issues in the community, legal and community organization resources available, restoration and expungement, family law, and more.
A Day at the Summit

The Summit is a day of discussion, networking, and talks on key issues for Tennessee Communities.

While the day has many opportunities to network amongst members, it also provides talks and presentations relevant to legal and faith-based communities.

Opening Remarks give attendees a chance to hear from a member of the TN Supreme Court, a member or members of the TN Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, and more.

Panel discussions fill the morning, where attendees can hear from lawyers, legal aid organizations, community organizations, and community members to learn about and interact with those individuals that work in their communities. It’s a great chance to learn more about the work being done, how an attendee can tap in and partner with those individuals to bring that same work in greater force to their area.

The Summit typically has a keynote address, during a provided lunch, from a figure that is working within and/or has experience directly with a relevant legal process impacting the state.

Additionally, there are presentations on common legal issues for community members. Legal experts and community organization experts present on key legal issues; helping attendees learn more about spotting the issues in their communities, learning about the resources available, and getting steps on how to start taking action in their community.

Lastly, the Summit regularly has the TN Justice Bus on-site for the event! Attendees can see the TN Justice Bus in person, learn more about how it can travel the state and come to their community, and find out how to work with the Bus in their area.

What to Expect This Year

While the agenda is still being finalized for this year’s 2024 TN Faith & Justice Summit, here is some of what you can expect:

  • We will once again have a member or members of the TN Supreme Court joining us for opening remarks. Member of the TN Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission will also be at this year’s event.
  • We have panel discussions lined up to talk about the shared experience of going through the legal system and coming out on the other side, and another on the justice program and how organizations both legal and community can navigate and take action for individuals.
  • This year’s Summit will have lunch provided, with a keynote address pertaining to family law and the resources available to those that are taking care of a child or children.
  • And we have presentations from Legal Aid Organization partners on what types of clinic models can be utilized and tailored for a given community and how to spot legal issues in your community.
  • Once again, the Tennessee Justice Bus will be on-site all day for attendees to walk-through, learn about the resource, and discover how they can bring the Bus to their community!
A Look Back - 2023 TN Faith & Justice Summit

What did last year’s TN Faith & Justice Summit Look Like?

  • Opening Remarks from TN Supreme Court Justice Bivins who shared the importance of providing access to justice across the state of Tennessee.
  • Opening Remarks from Monty Burks from the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives; talking about how important it is to network and leverage each other and our resources to help our communities.
  • Panel discussion on Faith & Justice Merging, where we heard from members of the community, leaders in community organizations, and members of the legal profession to learn what work they already do and how they can partner together and with attendees for future work.
  • Panel discussion on Expungement & Reentry that included legal professionals that focus their work on expungement and reentry, and also, individuals who had gone through the process to share what it was like and what they’ve been able to do after going through the process.
  • We had a provided lunch with a keynote address from Judge Alexander McVeagh who discussed the amazing work his court was doing in Hamilton County and the growing issues he consistently saw with regards to access to justice.
  • Last year’s Summit ended with presentations on common family law issues, the expungement process and how to conduct expungement clinics in a community, and how to spot legal issues in your community.

We were so excited to share a wonderful event with people from all over the state. Our partners and presenters that gave their time to come discuss and share such valuable insights into their work, how to leverage their best practices, and how to partner made for an amazing event!

Why Attend?

What can you, as an attendee, takeaway from a day at the Summit?

  • Attorneys can get CLE Credits for attending the Summit!
  • Faith Based Leaders can network and discover new insights/resources they can partner with to bring back to their communities.
  • Community members can learn more about the resources available to them, gain valuable insight into legal issues that might be impacting them or the community.
  • Anyone can learn how and who they can work with to start helping their community!