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Erin Merrick

Chief Legal Counsel
Governor's Office

As Chief Counsel to the Governor, Merrick provides comprehensive legal advice to the Governor and his Cabinet and oversees the legal operations of the executive branch.  She manages the Governor’s relations with the Judiciary and the Attorney General and Reporter and assists the Governor in judicial appointments.  Other responsibilities include managing the administration’s legislative drafting work, leading strategic initiatives related to regulatory reform, and overseeing the executive clemency review process.  

Merrick first joined the Governor’s staff as Deputy Counsel in 2019, in which role she drafted flagship legislation for the Governor’s top priorities.  She previously worked in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office handling a variety of civil matters.  She has litigated in state and federal court in Tennessee and other states, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Her experience includes plaintiff and defense litigation, transactional work, and leadership roles in complex multistate matters.  

Merrick’s career in politics began in 2014 when she co-managed the successful campaign to amend the Tennessee Constitution regarding the selection of appellate judges.  

Merrick earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School, a master's degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from American University, where she also studied mathematics and Spanish.  Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Merrick moved to Tennessee in 2009 and lives in Nashville with her family.