For over 95 years, volunteer lawyers have been the backbone of the ACLU legal program.  These volunteers include solo practitioners, recent law school graduates, some of the nation’s most prominent lawyers, and many of the major firms in America.  Participation by the private bar has been vital to the ACLU’s work since Clarence Darrow headed the ACLU’s defense of John T. Scopes in 1925 right here in Tennessee.

ACLU-TN has limited staff and funding, yet is faced with a huge number of requests for assistance from individuals and organizations. The success of our legal program depends greatly on generous participation by our cooperating attorneys from across the state, who volunteer time, expertise, advice and resources.

Cooperating attorneys collaborate with ACLU staff in numerous important ways, including

  • Litigation;
  • Analyzing proposed legislation that affects civil liberties;
  • Testifying at hearings on pending legislation with civil liberties implications;
  • Providing comments on policies;
  • Addressing complaints to administrative agencies;
  • Assisting with public education, such as representing the ACLU at speaking engagements; and/or
  • Keeping us informed about civil liberties issues they encounter in the course of their practice or their personal lives.

If you are interested in working with ACLU-TN as a cooperating attorney, click here to complete our cooperating attorney questionnaire.