Russell J. Overby
Russ has devoted his entire legal career to advocacy for vulnerable families. He has spent most of those more than 40 years as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society in Nashville, representing many thousands of individual clients and winning landmark cases involving juvenile justice, disability rights and health care. Russ is a nationally respected expert on public assistance programs, so when Tennessee undertook welfare reform in the 1990’s, we lured him away from the Legal Aid Society for a one-year gig, which turned into a ten year run at TJC. While at TJC, Russ played a critical advocacy role in the design of the Families First program, which was widely recognized as among the most humane and effective of state welfare reform initiatives. Russ continues as a TJC volunteer to generously share his expertise with us and has been instrumental in the expansion of our nutrition advocacy. Russ, his wife, Sara, and their son Erik have inspired countless professionals and other families in the way in which the three of them have courageously and lovingly overcome the challenges posed by Erik’s disabilities.