Our best days are yet to come.
John Ray was raised on a farm between Lebanon and Watertown, Tennessee, where he learned the value of hard work and a good public education. After graduating from Lebanon High School with honors, John Ray attended Columbia University in New York City where he rowed on the Columbia crew and worked multiple jobs to help pay his way through school. During John Ray’s freshman year at Columbia he met his wife, Tamara, who was a coxswain on their crew team. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Columbia in May 1999, John Ray briefly returned home to care for his grandfather and run his family farm before returning north to Washington, DC where he worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. After two years, he returned to Tennessee where he worked on a U.S. Senate campaign and was subsequently tapped to be the statewide Political Director for the Tennessee Democratic Party during Governor Phil Bredesen’s first term. In the fall of 2004, John Ray entered the University of Memphis School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor degree in December 2006 and promptly gaining admission to the Tennessee Bar in May 2007.
John Ray has practiced law as a civil litigator in the private sector since November 2007, co-founding his own law firm in August 2013. He was listed as a Rule 31 General Civil Mediator in 2016. Recognized as a "Rising Star" in Business Liitigation by Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, John Ray has represented a diverse set of businesses and individuals on a wide range of legal issues. In addition to his work before state and federal trial courts, he has successfully briefed and argued issues on appeal before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. With an interest in supporting the arts and entrepreneurial spirit of Nashville, John Ray offers pro bono legal services to local artists and entrepreneurs through the Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, a program of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. He is also a Barrister in the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and was honored as a Fellow by the Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow in 2017.
PUBLIC & COMMUNITY SERVICE
On November 4, 2014, Nashville voters elected John Ray to represent them as their State Representative for District 55 in the Tennessee General Assembly and reelected him on November 8, 2016. Outside of the Capitol and his law office, John Ray served as chairman of the advisory board for Nashville RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities), now a program of the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee. He remains an active ex officio member of the steering committee for Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc., as its former president, and sits on the board of directors for Friends of Sevier Park, Inc., a non-profit he co-founded with other neighborhood leaders. Previously, John Ray served on the Metro Board of Fair Commissioners, as an appointee of Mayor Karl Dean, and the Tennessee Civil Service Commission, as an appointee of Governor Phil Bredesen. Additionally, John Ray represents his alma mater as an active member of the Columbia Alumni Association of Nashville and Columbia's Alumni Representative Committee. For his work on health care and equality issues, he has been honored with the 2017 Public Policy Advocacy Award by NAMI-Tennessee, an Appreciation Award by the Tennessee Association of Marriage and Family Therapists in 2016, the Ally Award by Nashville Pride in 2016, and he was also dubbed Best Politician by The Nashville Scene in 2015 for legislative effectiveness.
FAMILY & FUN
John Ray and Tamara are the proud parents of John, Finn, Henry and Wrigley, the family dog. John Ray spends his free time with his family, cheering for the Chicago Cubs and Nashville Predators, playing ice hockey, and attending his sons' many sporting events.
- Parent of John (4), Finn (2), and Henry with wife, Tamara.
- Attorney, co-founder of law firm.
- Chairman of the Board, Nashville RBI (Returning Baseball to the Inner Cities).
- Past President, Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc.
- Co-founding Member, Board of Directors, Friends of Sevier Park, Inc.
- Former Member, Tennessee Civil Service Commission – appointed by Governor Bredesen.
- Former Member, Metro Board of Fair Commissioners – appointed by Mayor Dean.
- Former Political Director, Tennessee Democratic Party, and Former Legislative Aide, U.S. House of Representatives.
- University of Memphis School of Law and Columbia University.