About Us

Senior Management

Nicole M. Grida

Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc. appointed Nicole M. Grida as its Chief Executive Officer effective June 1, 2024.  A longtime supporter of access to justice, Ms. Grida brings her leadership, collaboration, and legal skills to ensure MALS continues to provide excellence in legal advocacy to those in need while finding innovative ways to protect the legal rights of low-income citizens in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, and Lauderdale counties.

Since becoming a member of the Memphis legal community in 2006, she has represented clients in toxic tort, product liability, premises liability, personal injury, property damage, and general civil litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the country. As an in-house litigation attorney for International Paper (IP), Ms. Grida served on the Steering Committee for IP’s Signature Pro Bono Initiative focused on providing equal justice to Tennessee residents through expungements, voting rights restorations, and driver’s license reinstatements. As a bar association leader and non-profit board member at the local, state, and national levels, she served as board chair for multiple organizations; chaired committees tasked with vetting judicial candidates, revising by-laws, and creating pathways to leadership for diverse members; and worked directly with staff members to create, refine, and achieve their organizations’ missions, visions, and strategic plans.

Gortria Banks

Chief Operating Officer

Memphis Area Services, Inc. has appointed Gortria C. Banks as Chief Operating Officer.  Ms. Banks joined MALS in August of 2023 after serving as the Associate Executive Director at Community Legal Center. Ms. Banks holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a Master in Business Management, HRM. Ms. Banks also holds the professional certifications of Certified Public Administrator and Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional. She is a University of Memphis alum, a retiree of Shelby County Government (SCG) with 31 years of dedicated service, and a Leadership Memphis graduate.  Ms. Banks has a rich background in both finance and human resources and was nominated as a finalist for Memphis Business Journal’s 2019 CFO of the Year for her work done as the Finance Director in General Sessions Court.  In addition, she serves as a board member for Shelby County Government’s pension board and as a budget committee member.