NASHVILLE, TN (TN Tribune) — Chief District Judge Pamela L. Reeves will be honored posthumously this month with the Tennessee Bar Association’s (TBA) prestigious Justice Frank F. Drowota III Award.
The Drowota Award is given to a judge or judicial branch official of a federal, state or local court in Tennessee who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion and dedication to the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice as exemplified by the career of former Supreme Court Justice Frank F. Drowota III – the award’s first recipient.
Reeves was chosen for her decades of service to the legal profession in Tennessee, her leadership, and her dedication to the judiciary. Reeves served as a pioneer for so many in the profession, breaking barriers including a number of “firsts” — first female partner in the prominent Knoxville law firm where she practiced for many years, first female president of the Tennessee Bar Association, first female District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee and ultimately the first female Chief District Judge. In 2020, Reeves became the first recipient of the Tennessee Professionalism Award given jointly by the TBA and the Tennessee American Inns of Court. The 2021 award has been renamed in her honor.
“The impact that Judge Reeves had on our profession and our community is invaluable. Her resilience and leadership still live on in the many lawyers and judges that she mentored,” TBA President Michelle Greenway Sellers says of Reeves, “she was simply a force of nature. We are proud to honor and acknowledge her many accomplishments.”
A resident of Knoxville, Reeves earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Tennessee, and her Juris Doctor degree from the UT College of Law. In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Reeves to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. She received her judicial commission in 2014 and became Chief Judge in 2019.
Her family will accept the award in her honor during the Tennessee Bar Association’s Lawyers Luncheon on June 18 at its annual convention in Memphis.
Named in honor of former Tennessee Chief Justice Frank Drowota, the Drowota Award is the TBA’s highest award for service to the judiciary and has been given annually for more than a decade.
The TBA was founded in 1881. Its membership represents the entire spectrum of the legal profession in Tennessee and beyond. The TBA is open to all licensed attorneys in good standing, and it is dedicated to enhancing fellowship and professionalism among the members of Tennessee’s legal community.