Pro Bono

Discover new information and volunteer opportunities within our pro bono program.

A Message from David Esquivel and Lucinda Smith

Bass, Berry & Sims remains committed to pursuing systemic change to address inequality. In 2019 we adopted a comprehensive pro bono initiative encouraging attorneys to tackle significant legal issues. The goal was to increase our 6,000 hours of pro bono work per year to 10,000 by the end of 2020. We far exceeded that goal, with our lawyers supporting 15,200 hours of pro bono work in 2020. The firm’s commitment to pro bono focuses on three primary areas: strengthening families, empowering communities, and protecting civil rights. Focusing on these core areas, the firm developed projects to respond to the pandemic, fight racial injustice, and advocate for criminal justice reform.

Some of our most successful work happens when we are able to collaborate on various matters including work with our clients—Envision Healthcare, AutoZone, and International Paper—on projects as varied as Tennessee Innocence Project litigation and wills clinics. As we expand on our success, we’d like to invite interested alumni to join these efforts. If you would like to get involved, please register here to receive information about Bass, Berry & Sims’ pro bono opportunities.

You can read about our work for social justice, and you can follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to learn more.

Register to Volunteer

Interested in getting involved? Register here to receive regular email communications containing information about pro bono opportunities.

Volunteer Opportunities

Discover pro bono opportunities in your community.

Featured Opportunities

TN Free Legal Answers – March 23 & April 8

Work virtually with law students to answer questions on TN Free Legal Answers. TN Free Legal Answers is a website where financially qualifying Tennesseans can post their civil legal questions. It’s like a pro bono clinic – just online. Log in at your convenience, pick the question to answer, provide an anonymous response and receive pro bono CLE credit. Malpractice insurance is provided through Tennessee Association for Legal Services (TALS).

Lawyers from our Knoxville team work monthly with University of Tennessee law students to staff the Virtual Legal Answers Clinic answering questions online through TN Free Legal Answers. The next sessions will be at 11:00 a.m. CST on March 23 and April 8.

Lawyers from our offices will also team virtually with University of Memphis and UT law students for an Alternative Spring Break on April 8 with a goal to clear the queue of all questions on TN Free Legal Answers.

For more information or to join us, contact Lucinda Smith.

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

Support research on racial injustice and criminal justice reform.

Bass, Berry & Sims has joined with more than 250 firms across the world to form the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance. Its mandate is to “leverage the resources of the private bar to amplify the voices of communities and individuals oppressed by racism, to better use the law as a vehicle for change that benefits communities of color and to promote racial equity in the law and in government institutions.” Our lawyers are working to develop research and policies addressing wrongful convictions, sentencing reform and bail reform.

For more information or to join with us, contact David Esquivel.

East Tennessee

Legal Aid of East Tennessee
Monthly Veterans’ Legal Advice Clinic
The second Wednesday of every month
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
Click here to volunteer or call (865) 637-0484.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee
Saturday Bar Clinic
The first Saturday of every month
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST
607 W. Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
Click here to volunteer or call (865) 637-0484.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee
Saturday Bar Clinic
The third Saturday of every month – Blount County
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST
212 Cates Street
Maryville, TN 37801
Click here to volunteer with or call (865) 637-0484.

Middle Tennessee

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands (LAS) hosts legal advice clinics 13 times each month at multiple locations. All clinics are currently held by telephone because of the COVID-19 restrictions. For dates and times when you can volunteer click here. To volunteer, email Kendra Cheek.

West Tennessee

Memphis Area Legal Services 
Monthly Saturday Clinics
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CST
Benjamin Hooks Main Library
3030 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38111
Please click here to see dates and information.

Memphis Area Legal Services
Bi-Monthly Saturday Clinics
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST
First Presbyterian Church,
403 S. Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103
Please click here to see dates and information.

Pro Bono News

Firm News | February 24, 2021
David Esquivel Discusses Case Before Tennessee Supreme Court Challenging Mandatory Juvenile Sentencing Law

Firm News | February 19, 2021
Pro Bono Team Helps Form Mosaic Changemakers

Firm News | December 10, 2020
Nashville Community Bail Fund Wins Federal Suit

Firm News | September 1, 2020
David Esquivel Discusses Firm Response to COVID-19 and Tidal Wave of Eviction Filings

Firm News | August 31, 2020
Marc Tahiry Appointed Law Clerk to Provide Court Pro Bono Counsel for Heightened Eviction Filings in Nashville

Firm News | June 25, 2020
Bass, Berry & Sims Joins the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

Firm News | June 10, 2020
David Esquivel Presents Oral Argument in Death Penalty Resentencing Based on Claims of Racism in Jury Selection