Burch, Porter & Johnson was founded in downtown Memphis in 1904 by Clinton H. McKay, who served in the Tennessee Legislature, H.D. Minor, who served as president of the Lawyers Club of Memphis (the predecessor of the Memphis Bar Association), and Charles N. Burch, who was a founder of the Memphis Bar Association. After the deaths of Messrs. Burch, Minor and McKay in the 1940s, the firm was led by Lucius E. Burch, Jr., John S. Porter, and Jesse E. Johnson. Lucius Burch and John Porter were among the most active and respected trial lawyers in Tennessee. Lucius Burch earned a national reputation for his progressive leadership in the areas of political reform, civil rights, and the conservation and protection of the environment. John Porter served as President of the Memphis Bar Association among other offices, and was the very first recipient of the Memphis Bar Association's “Lawyer's Lawyer” Award, the highest award given by the organization.