For over 25 years, the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) has been standing with vulnerable Tennessee families and helping them access basic necessities of life. After Congress placed restrictions on legal services programs, effectively creating a two-tier justice system, community and bar leaders from all parts of our state and from every part of the political spectrum, came together to form TJC to fill the gap.

TJC has made an incredible impact for families from Memphis to Mountain City, for moms and children with special needs, for older adults and caregivers, for people with disabilities and those who need long-term care, and many, many more. We help our neighbors one-by-one to cut through red tape to access vital, sometimes life-saving services like health care and nutrition benefits, and then use what we learn to improve systems affecting many more. Whether in the courtroom, newspaper, or capital, TJC advocates for a state that reflects our communities’ shared values, that protects the dignity and opportunity of every person, and that supports the health care and economic infrastructure on which all our communities depend.

Our Commitment to Equity


  • TJC advocates for Tennessee’s most vulnerable families and children, so that all Tennesseans can enjoy the dignity, security and opportunity that is every person’s right.
  • TJC’s skilled legal and policy advocacy improves the lives of tens of thousands of Tennesseans every year, from infants with special health care needs to frail seniors struggling to maintain their independence.
  • Since opening our doors in 1996, TJC has used lawsuits, legislation and coalition building to overcome injustice, winning $2 billion in health care and hundreds of millions in financial and nutrition assistance for Tennesseans.
  • TJC’s work is grounded in, and inspired by, the daily representation of individual families from Memphis to Mountain City. Our advocacy agenda is informed by our work with Tennesseans who battle injustice in their lives and in the lives of those they love.

Individual Cases

We work one on one with clients to help them get the food and healthcare assistance they need.

We help Tennesseans master the maze of health and nutrition resources available in our state.

Our caseworkers help individuals navigate complicated systems to get the health care and food they need. We are red tape warriors, experts at cutting through the maze of bureaucracy to get access to necessary assistance.

Need Our Help?

Training Presentations

We host both free and paid trainings on a variety of topics all year long. We utilize our expert legal staff and years of experience to share information and educate hundreds of trainees every month about the programs that impact Tennesseans' health and their access to critical safety net benefits.

We train health care providers, social workers, and local community groups to better understand the complex healthcare system and the laws that govern it.

We also work directly with TennCare and other public programs to make sure that services are available and work as they are supposed to.

Tools and Trainings

System Change

We are on the ground working alongside courageous Tennesseans to advocate for a healthier state.

When systemic issues affect lots of people, we find a way to address the laws, practices, and policies that create those issues.

We address these issues in the courts, work with partners to educate and inform lawmakers, and equip Tennesseans with the tools they need to make their voices heard.

Keep Up with Our Work


Our clients inspire us and drive the work that we do. They are hardworking moms, advocating for their children with autism. They are caregivers of aging parents, finding one-on-one help to keep their independence in the community. They are parents who face losing everything they’ve built for their families after illness or injury. Every day, their courage and love and willingness to speak out for a better state for all of us is a privilege to witness. Watch some of them tell their stories or read about them in our Story Bank.


clients served
in health care secured
unemployed workers able to eat
Tennesseans won right to appeal when HMO denies care
kids have improved access to care
single mothers gained employment
enrolled in affordable coverage by trainees
app built to share TJC’s knowledge across the state (AskJane!)


TJC uses legal tools to improve the lives of millions of Tennesseans and hold government accountable. To learn about our legal impact over the last 25 years, you can read below or click here for more. Some of our legal successes include:

  • Winning tens of thousands of Tennesseans whose TennCare applications are delayed (some for many months) the right to appeal. (Wilson v. Gordon)
  • Securing and defending for decades appeal rights for individuals whose TennCare HMOs denied services ordered by their doctors. (Binta B. v. Gordon)
  • Winning extensive improvements to TennCare services for over 750,000 children, ensuring they had access to all medically necessary services ordered by their doctor. (John B. v. Emkes)
  • Ensuring that thousands of Tennesseans were granted notice and appeal rights when the State sought to terminate their TennCare eligibility. (Rosen v. Goetz)
  • Protecting the health and independence of older adults and people with disabilities by ensuring access to comparable services at home rather than a nursing home. (Newberry v. Goetz)


Stroll down memory lane and see what TJC was up to in past years by reading our year-end letters. See how much we’ve grown and how far we’ve come.

20212020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 20162015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996