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West Tennessee Legal Services Begins Offering Free Legal Assistance to Low-Income Families in Memphis and Surrounding Counties

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Memphis, Tenn. (July 1, 2024) – Starting today, families living below the poverty line in Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, and Lauderdale Counties have a new legal ally: West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS).

Effective July 1, 2024, WTLS, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Jackson, Tennessee since 1979 will be funded by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to provide people in the greater Memphis metropolitan area with free legal help on civil matters. Legal Services Corporation is a federally funded agency that provides financial support to civil legal aid programs like WTLS nationwide, ensuring access to civil legal assistance for low-income individuals and families across the United States. 

WTLS’ work in Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, and Lauderdale Counties will be funded for the remainder of 2024 with a $940,301 grant from LSC. WTLS’ annual budget is supplemented with grants from individuals, foundations, the State of Tennessee, and federal grants.

WTLS prioritizes cases within the focus areas where they can have the most impact: access to healthcare, securing or retaining income, securing or retaining shelter, personal freedom and security of abused persons or institutionalized persons; and issues that affect family safety, cohesiveness, and stability.

“Our team is eager to get work providing these crucial services to individuals and families across this region,” says Ashley Holliday, Executive Director of WTLS. “As we grow, our focus will remain constant: to ensure that people in need have access to justice and the support they deserve.”

“LSC’s top priority is that low-income families in the Memphis service area receive high quality assistance for their civil legal problems,” said LSC President Ron Flagg. “We support WTLS’ expansion of services in the Memphis region and look forward to following their progress in providing effective legal services to those in need.”

WTLS’s services in this region will be led by Vanessa Bullock, Director of Special Projects and Memphis Office Manager. WTLS is prioritizing the hiring of “hotline attorneys” who will provide legal advice and limited services to callers seeking help. 

WTLS is also actively hiring attorneys and paralegals to handle cases involving housing, domestic violence, public benefits, and consumer issues. The organization will also hire a pro bono staff attorney, who will be tasked with coordinating additional support from the private bar.

“Initially, our case volume will be limited as we grow our staff,” says Holliday. “We will increase capacity as we hire and train new team members for our Memphis office. We’ll be adding a pro bono staff attorney to build relationships with the private bar, and we anticipate seeing a significant increase in our pro bono unit’s case volume by 2025.”

To request legal assistance or inquire about employment opportunities with West Tennessee Legal Services, visit or call 901-471-8006.

About West Tennessee Legal Services.

West Tennessee Legal Services, a non-profit law firm, offers no-cost civil legal aid to eligible West Tennesseans, focusing on issues that affect family safety, cohesiveness, and stability. WTLS is funded by state and federal grants and private donors. To learn more, visit