Legal Aid of East Tennessee honored Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel as the 2020 Pro Bono Firm of the Year during its annual Community Justice Pro Bono Celebration Nov. 5.
Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Firm of the Year award honors a law firm that has made a significant impact on the community through pro bono legal work over the year.
“Since the early 1960s, Chambliss has produced many leaders of the access to justice movement at the federal, state and local levels,” says Russell Fowler, Legal Aid’s director of litigation and advocacy. “In Chattanooga, the firm has long championed Legal Aid of East Tennessee by encouraging financial support by local law firms and individual lawyers and by encouraging pro bono work.
“In keeping with its commitment to justice, the firm has repeatedly and enthusiastically volunteered to take on the most challenging pro bono cases for low-income and vulnerable Tennesseans. Chambliss has unselfishly given its talent, time, resources and influence to advance the frontiers of justice in Chattanooga and beyond.”
“We value our relationship with Legal Aid and are proud to serve the organization and its clients,” says Mark Cunningham, president and managing shareholder of Chambliss.
In addition to recognizing the firm, Legal Aid inducted Chambliss shareholder Mike St. Charles into its Hall of Fame. Over his 35 years of practice, St. Charles has contributed hundreds of hours to counseling individuals and community organizations through pro bono representation, increased access to justice and supported Legal Aid in numerous ways, according to a news release from the organization.
He follows in the footsteps of previous Chambliss attorneys inducted into the Hall of Fame, including Max Bahner, Bruce Bailey, Justice William “Muecke” Barker, Bill Carriger and Glenn Stophel.
“I was thrilled to induct Mike St. Charles into Legal Aid’s Hall of Fame,” says Legal Aid’s executive director, Sheri Fox. “Every time I walk down the hall where we display the photos of the Hall of Fame inductees, I’m in the presence of this community’s legal giants – giants in terms of their legal acumen, professional accomplishments and commitment to access to justice.
“Mike St. Charles has more than earned his place among this community’s legal luminaries, and he and his Hall of Fame colleagues will inspire all of us for decades to come as we continue the fight to secure justice for all.”
“Our commitment [to justice] is strengthened by the servant leaders at our firm, including Mike St. Charles, who’s been instrumental in leading philanthropic efforts,” Cunningham says. “His induction into the Hall of Fame is well-deserved, and we’re proud of his selfless efforts and leadership.”