Mike Cody was first drawn to TJC because of the critical needs in the state and his experience with Gordon Bonnyman when they both fighting to make the prison system more humane. “I have great respect for Gordon as a visionary leader,” remarked Cody. At the time of founding in 1995, Cody knew that if there were sick and poor people in Nashville that needed legal help then there had to be twice that number living in Memphis. In 1968, Cody had organized the Memphis Neighborhood Services Program which would become Memphis Area Legal Services. The cutting of state legal aid funding would bring issues and restrictions to MALS. Everyone there knew that TJC was the group that could bring the manpower, the ability, and the independence required to help the sick and the poor in Nashville, and in Memphis. At some point, Gordon asked Cody to set up an advisory board in Memphis to support the effort. He agreed without hesitation. Ever since, Cody has been a strong supporter of the Tennessee Justice Center and a force of change in Memphis.