Let’s talk about Pro Bono

I have written about Pro Bono legal representation on different occasions, especially during or near the ABA’s National Celebrate Pro Bono Week. Here in South Carolina, I’ve seen more discussion about it, and even a little more participation.

But, I still don’t see as much participation as I would expect. So I have a question for attorneys, paralegals, and law students:

If you are not regularly engaged in pro bono representation, why not?

Please add your comments below. No expletives please. And, I’d like your honest answers.

  • Have you been asked?
  • Do you know where to find opportunities?
  • Are you nervous to do so on your own?
  • Do you think you don’t have enough time to add another case?

Thanks!

~rfw

Needed: Your Opinion

It’s that time again. Time to review the current blog theme and see if you, the readers, are content with the current theme OR to see if you’d prefer something different.

Please review the following 3 choices and vote:

CHOICE #1:

CHOICE #2:

CHOICE #3:

Please vote in the COMMENTS section.

Thanks.

-RFW

Happy Valentine’s Day: USC School of Law Pro Bono Style

I was very excited to hear from Pam Robinson about a project the USC School of Law Pro Bono Program was doing for Valentine’s Day. She asked several attorneys from around the state to complete the following:

I love being a lawyer because . . .

The following is the response:

Fantastic idea and great result!

Why do you love being a lawyer?

-RFW

South Carolina Magistrates Court: Take 1, Scene 1

Below is a video I made based on the recent FAQs for Magistrates Court published on the South Carolina Judicial Department’s Self-Help Resources page.

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

  • Is this a valuable way to promote the FAQs?
  • Is this easily understandable?
  • Any other comments?

Thanks.

-RFW

Seniors and Caregivers: We Need Your Feedback

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission and the South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging are partners in a project to identify and address legal needs of South Carolina Seniors living in poverty.  South Carolina is one of eleven states in 2009 that received a grant for Administration on Aging’s Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems.

And we need YOU! Well, your information please. In order for us to complete PHASE ONE – the Legal Needs Assessment – we need to have information from Seniors and Caregivers.

It’s easy to do – either click here for the online survey or Final ATJC Senior Survey Document for the Senior survey (pdf) or Final ATJC Caregiver Survey Document for the Caregiver survey (pdf).

Thanks!

-RFW

P&A Wants You(r Input)!

Every year the South Carolina protection and advocacy system, Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P&A) asks for public opinion on what they should do also known as priority work areas.

Their Board of Directors reviews the information from the public and compares it to data they have received throughout the year. Once the Board has completed this process, it sets the priority work areas for the year. The reason they’re asking for it now is that their fiscal year runs October 1 to September 30.

To get your input into setting their priority work areas, P&A asks that you complete their online survey that will close on September 10, 2009.

suggestion box

-RFW

Should 3Ls Provide Legal Representation: POLL

Read about a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court that allows 3rd year law students to represent Felony Defendants UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED ATTORNEY!

The Rule.

Please feel free to add your own comments either within the poll or below.

Does this enhance access to justice? Or does it further disenfranchise people living in poverty?

-RFW

PS – Thanks to Commissioner Rangeley Chewning for pointing out the Ohio article!

New Look

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission’s blog has a new look.

The content will continue as usual, but it was time for an update. Please tell us what you think. Do you like the new look?

Thanks for your past support and we look forward to your continued interest.

-RFW

How do you feel about paperless courts?

Below is a poll where you can express how you feel about moving to paperless courts. This question arose when I was looking through news e-lerts from the week. I noticed one article out of Las Vegas, yep that Vegas, and the photo almost overwhelmed me.

So, please complete the poll and let me know how you feel.

-RFW

Imitation. Greatest Form of Flattery, right?

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

 

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

If Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, then SLAW, a cooperative Canadian weblog on things legal, should feel really flattered.

It appears that the Law Commission of Ontario/Commission du Droit de l’Ontario (LCO/CDO) is similar to the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. Its mandate is to recommend law reform measures to increase the legal system’s relevance, effectiveness and accessibility; to clarify and simplify the law; consider technology as a means to enhance access to justice; and stimulate critical debate about law and promote scholarly legal research.

[And Francophiles, their website is fun to explore. For the rest of us, simply click on English.]

SLAW’s recent post “A Technology Project for the LCO” really caught my attention. Part of the LCO/CDO mandate is to consider technology as a conduit for access to justice and SLAW is requesting ideas for using technology as a means to enhance access to justice.

Here’s where the imitation occurs. I’m asking each of you to add your ideas for utilizing technology to enhance access to justice in the comments’ section of this post.

Please think broadly and creatively – instructional/explanatory videos, online records access, telephone instructions, email alerts, text messages, etc.

After all, you know how you “roll” and SC Access to Justice wants to reach you.

-RFW