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Donna Simpson

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work with many people in the Upper Cumberland area. I have both enjoyed my work with my clients and colleagues and I have enjoyed getting to know more about life from each one of you I have met.

I grew up in Sparta, TN. My father brought livestock markets to farmers in this area, and my mother reared a family of six while keeping books for the family business. My parents taught me the values of hard work, respect for everyone, living in and trying to improve your community and the importance of having people say your word is as good as your bond. My experience working with my family in the livestock business has helped me have a better understanding of the lives and work of the rural people of this area.

In my early years of practice, I worked with low-income clients at Rural Legal Services of Tennessee (now Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands). There I learned the importance of working with groups of people to achieve common goals. I later worked in partnership with skilled attorneys, Ernie Onks, Kathy Austin, and Mike O'Mara, who helped me hone my legal skills. Throughout my years of practice, each of my clients has taught me valuable life lessons.

Family is important to me. My family relies on each other for help and support – sharing with each other what is most important to each one of us. My daughters, Carrie Massa and Erica Scott, now work as legal assistants in my law practice. I often call on my son, Ethan Massa, and my children's father, John Massa, for questions I have about appraisals. My husband, Steve Chapman, guides me in areas of office management. My brothers and sisters are always available for valuable counsel. My close family experience has helped me work with and empathize with the needs of families I meet in my practice.

The Upper Cumberland is an area not only where I grew up but also chose to return to and stay in after my years of education. I believe it is important to give back to the community that has given so much to me. Through the years, I have volunteered in my church community, the arts community, youth sports organizations, political organizations, and environmental groups.

I am fortunate to live in a place with the beauty of the farmland, lakes, and mountains of the Upper Cumberlands and to have the full and abundant life my family, friends, work, and community has provided.

Professional Experience:

  • Private law practice, Cookeville, TN 1982-present
  • Rural Legal Services of Tennessee, Cookeville, TN 1979-1981

Admissions:

  • Supreme Court of the United States, October 11, 2017
  • Supreme Court of Tennessee, 1979
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1985
  • United States District Court – Eastern District of Tennessee, 1981
  • United States District Court – Middle District of Tennessee, 1981

Education:

  • J.D., University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1978
  • B.A., University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Psychology, 1973

Positions:

  • Chair, Social Security Section of the Tennessee Bar Association (2016-2017)
  • Chair, Disability Section of the American Association for Justice (2019-2020)
  • Past President, Putnam County Bar Association
  • Board of Professional Responsibility for the Supreme Court of Tennessee, 1992-1998
  • Sustaining Member, National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives

Honors:

  • Fellow, Tennessee Bar Foundation & American Bar Foundation

 

 

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Recommendations

  • Treated with Respect * * * * *

    Great people! Applying for disability is a depressing process at best and Ms. Simpson and her office staff has made it less painful for me. They are always helpful, friendly, and kind. I can't say how much it means to be treated with respect. I would definitely recommend to anyone applying for di...
  • Kind, gentle lady * * * * *

    Ms.Simpson was an awesome attorney in my husband s disability case. She is a kind gentle lady who will fight for what is right! We appreciate her and her office staff very much! Sharon and John Taylor
  • True Compassion * * * * *

    After years of fighting for my disability, I finally hired Ms. Simpson. She not only was able to help me obtain my disability, she and her office staff were so helpful and accommodating. They showed true compassion in a very difficult time. I couldn't recommend them more highly. 5 stars for sure.
  • Excellent Service * * * * *

    I Highly Recommend Donna Simpson's Law Firm for Excellent Service.
  • Supportive & Caring * * * * *

    Love all the girls there! Supportive && caring!
  • GO-TO ATTORNEY

    This attorney is the go-to person when it comes to getting your disability claim approved. From my first visit, I felt comfortable dealing with Ms. Simpson and her outstanding support staff.Donna Simpson explains every step of the process in a way that those who are not attorneys understand. I al...
  • Wonderful staff

    Wonderful staff and wonderful Lawyer.
  • Work hard for you * * * * *

    Donna Simpson and staff work hard for you, and are kind hearted. They listen to you and care about their clients. I would and will recommend them to any and everyone. Thank you for your kindness, and for working hard for me.  
  • Great Lawyer * * * * *

    Great lawyer!
  • Highly recommend disability services * * * * *

    Donna was vital in helping me receive approval on my disability. I'm not sure I would have been able to handle the process on my own. I would highly recommend her services.
  • Outstanding lawyer !!!

    Outstanding lawyer!!! Could not have asked for better thank you Donna
  • Friendly, caring * * * * *

    Very friendly service and caring
  • Honest

    I have known Donna for years,& I feel she is honest and would do her best for each & every client.
  • Great team * * * * *

    Great team to have working for you.
  • Great * * * * *

    Donna is great!
  • SEAMLESS RESULTS * * * * *

    Very helpful during a trying time. Results were seamless.
  • Put us at ease * * * * *

    My husband made an appointment with Ms. Donna Simpson. We were greeted by a very pleasant young lady. When Ms. Donna Simpson came out to greet us she put us at ease right away. She was so pleasant & very helpful. So glad my husband found her.

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