The Tennessee Bar Foundation is an organization of attorneys from across the state, active since 1982. The Foundation has a three-fold purpose:

  1. to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession by electing them to membership as "Fellows,"

  2. to use the contributions of these Fellows to support selected, law-related public interest projects, and

  3. to administer Tennessee's IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts) program.


Tennessee Legal Initiatives Fund

This new grant program, TLIF, will accept applications for one-time awards of up to $100,000, to pilot new initiatives. Successful projects will encourage and support organizations and partnerships that provide (or plan to provide) innovative, system-change approaches to the civil legal challenges faced by Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents.

The Latest News

IOLTA Grant Applications for 2019

August 15, 2018

Application forms for IOLTA grant awards to be paid during 2019 are available here.  Completed applications must be postmarked no later than WEDNESDAY, September 12, 2018.  Again, due to the continued low interest rate environment, no awards will be available to new-to-IOLTA applicants.

Read More

IOLTA Grant Awards

January 17, 2018

The Foundation announces awards totaling $500,000 to be paid during 2018 to 27 organizations located across Tennessee. In accordance with the Supreme Court’s Order, all recipients provide either direct civil legal service to indigent clients or work to improve the administration of justice. Each organization’s application for IOLTA funds was evaluated by the Foundation’s Grant…

Read More

Legal History Project interviews available on the internet

September 12, 2017

ALL 100+ interviews conducted by the (continuing) Legal History Project are now on YouTube to be viewed on any device. The interviewees, from across the state, recount personal biographical information, significant legal topics dealt with during their careers as well as the important social and political issues of their day. The YouTube-linked list of interviews…

Read More

IOLTA program welcomes participation by Tennessee credit unions

November 4, 2016

Rules amendments ordered by the Tennessee Supreme Court now allow lawyers to establish IOLTA trust checking accounts at eligible credit unions. The Foundation is contacting Tennessee credit unions to educate them about the program and about the law-related community organizations supported by IOLTA grants. Lawyers should watch the list of Eligible Financial Institutions (here) for…

Read More

“Chattanooga-area” Reception

May 18, 2016

The Foundation’s sixth, annual, outreach event was held this month in Chattanooga. Judge Barbara Holmes, Chair of the Board of Trustees, travelled from Nashville to welcome Fellows from southeast Tennessee. The executive directors of local, law-related organizations which receive funds from the IOLTA grant program also attended. See the slideshow of photographs below.

Read More

“Knoxville-area” Reception

April 27, 2015

On April 21, the Foundation held its fifth spring reception, this year for Knoxville-area Fellows. Judge Pam Reeves (past chair of the Board of Trustees), served as the host, amidst the lovely spaces of the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Federal Courthouse. Current Board Chair, Judge Creed McGinley, travelled from Savannah to Knoxville to welcome the 55 guests and…

Read More

Memphis Reception

May 15, 2014

The Foundation’s fourth, annual, outreach reception was held this month in Memphis. Fifty Fellows attended, including those newly-elected as members of the Class of 2013, who were honored. The festive event was sponsored by law firms Ballin, Ballin & Fishman and Lewis Thomason and local member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Irma Merrill Stratton.…

Read More

“Lower Middle” Reception

May 12, 2013

On May 7, the Foundation held a reception at historic Rippavilla Plantation in Columbia (Maury County) for Fellows and judges from “lower middle” Tennessee. Guests from six area cities attended, along with Supreme Court justices Connie Clark (Franklin) and Bill Koch (Nashville) and the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, who met earlier in the afternoon in…

Read More

“Upper East” Reception

May 15, 2012

The Foundation’s outreach reception was held this spring in Kingsport, for Fellows and judges in “Upper East” Tennessee. Members from seven area cities attended, as well as Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade from Sevierville. Contributions from these law firms supported the event: Arnold, Haynes & Sanders (Johnson City); Hunter, Smith & Davis, LLP (Kingsport); Milligan…

Read More

Legal History Project video collages available online

September 15, 2011

All seven collages that compile the “best of” moments of the video interviews conducted by the Legal History Project may be viewed online. Click here to enjoy the preserved memories, wit and wisdom of Tennessee’s senior lawyers!

Read More