Mr. Sims graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1946 and Vanderbilt University Law School in 1948. He served in the United States Marine Corps for three years during World War II and two years during the Korean Conflict. He joined Bass, Berry & Sims in June 1948 and for over 50 years practiced law in a variety of specialties. While Mr. Sims began as a trial attorney, his practice shifted to labor law and then to a general business practice. During these years he served as general counsel or on the board of directors of nine publicly-held companies, as well as several privately-held companies. In more recent years he confined his practice to commercial litigation and now practices only on a consulting basis with the active lawyers of the firm.
In his active years, Mr. Sims participated energetically in the affairs of the profession serving as President of the Nashville Bar Association, Speaker of the House of Delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association and President of the Tennessee Bar Association. He was the founding President of the Tennessee Bar Foundation. During the 1960's Mr. Sims was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee as chairman of the Tennessee Commission on Human Relations to deal with troubled areas of race relations within the State. Also, in 1959 and 1960 he served as a member of the Tennessee Legislature. He is a life member of the Chancellor's Council at both the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University, has served as a member of the board of visitors of the University of North Carolina, as President of the Vanderbilt Law School Alumni Association and as the Founder of its Dean's Council. He has received the Distinguished Service Award from Vanderbilt Law School.
In 1988 Mr. Sims was awarded the highest honor of the Nashville Bar Association citing him for "outstanding contributions to his community and faithful service as a member of the Bar;" and in 1987 was cited by the Supreme Court of Tennessee "for his leadership and service to the legal profession as the first chairperson of the Commission on Continuing Legal Education." Mr. Sims has also served as a Director or Trustee of several charitable and religious enterprises in the Nashville area, including 20 years as a Trustee of Meharry Medical College.