Gordon Bonnyman co-founded the Tennessee Justice Center and served as its executive director from 1996 to 2014. He continues to serve the TJC as a staff attorney where his advocacy is primarily focused on achieving access to healthcare for the poor and uninsured. Before founding the Tennessee Justice Center, Professor Bonnyman was a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands for 23 years, where he represented thousands of low-income clients in a wide variety of civil matters including housing, consumer, public benefits, disability rights, nursing home reform, juvenile procedure, civil rights, constitutional rights and health law. During sabbaticals, Professor Bonnyman worked for human rights organizations in Jerusalem and Budapest.
Professor Bonnyman has written and lectured extensively, particularly on matters of health law and policy. He has served on numerous state and national boards, including the National Juvenile Law Center, National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services. He has served on advisory commissions on Medicaid and public health under several Tennessee governors and has consulted with governors and legislators in other states. He served as a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Commission on the Future of the Tennessee Judicial System.
A nationally-recognized advocate on health policy, Professor Bonnyman has received awards for public service from numerous organizations, including the American, Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations, the ACLU of Tennessee, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, the Metropolitan Nashville Human Relations Commission and the Women's Political Collaborative of Tennessee.
He teaches Poverty Law.