Jesse D. Nelson – attorney

Jesse D. Nelson is originally from west Tennessee, having spent his early years in and around Jackson. He attended Lambuth University where he was captain of the Mock Trial competition team, a Lambuth Scholar, and received numerous awards.

Mr. Nelson attended law school at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford. He was a member and articles editor of the University of Mississippi Law Journal, and he completed an externship with the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Mississippi. He graduated with honors in 2006 and was in the top 13% of his graduating class.

Following his return to Jackson, Tennessee, Mr. Nelson joined the largest law firm in west Tennessee (excluding Memphis) where he handled a variety of cases in state and federal courts. He received several favorable court rulings that are contained in published opinions and that are frequently cited by courts, scholarly authors, and other litigants.

Mr. Nelson later joined a civil litigation firm in Knoxville and became a frequent speaker at legal seminars and for professional groups.

Attorney Nelson is admitted to practice in all Tennessee state courts; the United States District Court–Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts; and the United States Circuit Court of Appeals–Fifth and Sixth Circuits. He also represents clients before the Tennessee Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state and federal administrative agencies.

Jesse and his family live in Knoxville, and they enjoy camping, fishing, and spending time outdoors. They attend Two Rivers Church.


Kayla L. Towe – associate attorney

Kayla L. Towe is a Knoxville native. She attended East Tennessee State University where she majored in Corporate Finance and graduated with honors.

Ms. Towe attended law school at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She was a member and Business Editor of the Mental Health Law & Policy Journal, and she completed an externship with Diane K. Vescovo, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. During law school, Ms. Towe was awarded the Jerome Rosengarten Memorial Scholarship, and received CALI Excellence for the Future Awards for excellent achievement in the study of Fair Employment Practices and Health Law Seminar. When Ms. Towe returned to Knoxville, she worked at a local firm specializing in commercial and civil litigation.

Ms. Towe joined the Law Office of Jesse D. Nelson in November 2014. Ms. Towe currently handles a variety of cases in state and federal court. Ms. Towe is admitted to practice in all Tennessee state courts and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Ms. Towe loves spending time with her family and rescue animals. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at local rescue groups.


Jason Hansard – associate attorney

Jason Hansard is a native of Knoxville, TN. He attended Carson-Newman College (now University) where he majored in Political Science with minors in History and Biology and graduated cum laude in 2003.

Mr. Hansard attended Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, where he participated in in the school’s 1st year moot court competition and 1st and 2nd year trial competitions. In his first year he completed a summer internship as a legal research assistant in contracts, developing classroom instructional materials and conducting general research for contracts publications.

After graduating from Cumberland in 2006, Mr. Hansard worked in various business settings until 2010 when he started in private practice as a criminal defense attorney. Since that time he has represented a large number of clients both privately and through court appointments in a wide variety of criminal and juvenile matters. Mr. Hansard has extensive experience handling both felony and misdemeanor cases, such as DUIs and traffic violations, drug related offenses, theft, burglary, assault, and violations of probation. He has also defended parents in DCS actions for dependency and neglect and has represented numerous clients in cases involving child custody and child support matters.

Mr. Hansard joined the Nelson Law Group in 2016 to be the firm’s criminal defense counsel. He is currently admitted to practice in all Tennessee state courts.

Mr. Hansard and his family live in Knoxville where they enjoy the area’s many opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities. They attend Salem Baptist Church.


Karla Gander – paralegal

Karla Gander was born and raised in Wisconsin and moved to Knoxville in 2010. She brings ten years of legal, HR, and administrative experience to Nelson Law Group. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, where she focused on written communication and psychology.

Her activities have included literary editing, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and March of Dimes, and working with Concord Quest with First Baptist Concord in Farragut. She is an active member of the Knoxville running community, and she enjoys hiking, kayaking, UT sports, and spending time with family.


Brittney M. Cook – receptionist

Brittney was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. She received her Associate of Applied Sciences Degree in Paralegal Studies from Pellissippi State. During school she completed an internship at the Knox County District Attorney’s Office. Before joining the firm in September 2015 she worked for a local collections law firm. She serves as the firm’s receptionist and administrative assistant.

Brittney lives in Knoxville with her three children. In her spare time she enjoys reading, swimming, and attending her children’s sporting events.