Submit a Comment to the Supreme Court
of Tennessee

Outdated licensing rules make it needlessly difficult for part-time lawyers to remain in the workforce in Tennessee. The Supreme Court of Tennessee is soliciting comments on the issue of removing the full-time work requirement to waive into the state bar. The deadline is August 12.

We invite you to submit comments via email to [email protected]; mail James M. Hivner, Clerk, Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219-1407; or by signing our petition below. Read the Court’s order here.

James M. Hivner, Clerk, Tennessee Appellate Courts
100 Supreme Court Building
401 7th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37219-1407

Dear Mr. Hivner,

I write in support of the Network of enlightened Women’s petition asking the Court to amend Tennessee Rule 7 (Docket No. ADM2022-00522). Tennessee should remove its full-time work requirement for comity.

The Tennessee Supreme Court requires that a lawyer be practicing full-time for five of the seven previous years to be admitted to practice without examination. The American Bar Association Model Rule on Admission by Motion does not mandate full-time work.

The difference between a lawyer practicing full-time and part-time is the number of hours worked, not expertise or skill.

The full-time work requirement for comity makes it more difficult for part-time lawyers to practice law. Many of those adversely affected by the full-time requirement are women. Overall, women make up two-thirds of voluntary part-time workers. About one in five working women worked part-time voluntarily in 2016. Women now earn half (or more) of law degrees each year. Of the 6.2 percent of lawyers at law firms working part-time, more than 70 percent are women.

Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.

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