Hot off the press!
SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center will host a series of three public forums around the state in response to the foreclosure crisis. Check the flyer below for more information.
It is that time of year again!
The Law Related Education (LRE) Division is seeking volunteers for its growing mock trial programs, which teach middle and high school students about the legal system through trial role playing. Mock trial volunteers enjoy the thrill of competition while scoring and presiding over trials. LRE not only needs volunteers to score the competitions, but attorney coaches to help prepare the teams.
Competitions Dates and Locations are as follows:
October 31, 2009 Middle School Mock Trial Regional Competitions (Charleston (full), Columbia, Conway and Greenville)
November 21, 2009 Middle School Mock Trial State Competition (Lexington) (full)
February 27, 2010 High School Mock Trial Regional Competitions (Charleston, Columbia, Conway, and Greenville)
March 12-13, 2010 High School Mock Trial State Competition (Columbia)
If anyone is interested in serving as an attorney coach instead of a scoring judge, there are several high schools that need attorney coaches that are as follows:
Berkeley County: Cane Bay High School
Horry: Carolina Forest High School
Richland: Lower Richland High School, Ridgeview High School, Spring Valley High School
York: Nations Ford High School, Westminster Catawba Christian School
Pickens: D.W. Daniel High School
All mock trial volunteers earn pro bono credit for their hours dedicated to the mock trial program. To learn more or volunteer, contact Cynthia H. Cothran at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 252-5139.
Nothing new there, right? Not so fast.
Even here in Columbia, we recognize cool stuff and our neighbors have something to celebrate:
The Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta recently hit a milestone – placement of their 1,000th legal matter with a volunteer attorney! Very cool indeed!
Congratulations Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta! We look forward to hearing more about your work and service to the community!
Here are some noteworthy events coming up in May 2009. Feel free to add them to your calendar.
Friday, May 1 – P&A’s Annual Gala: Celebrating Abilities: An Evening of Jazz and Art
To benefit Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P&A)
6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the 17th floor of the Meridian Building.
Admission: $50 per person, sponsorships available
Friday, May 8 – University of South Carolina School of Law GRADUATION
Saturday, May 9 – South Carolina Bar Young Lawyer Division’s 3rd Annual Justice Jam
To benefit Sistercare
7:00 p.m. at Sudworks in Five Points
Admission: $5 per person
Tuesday, May 12 – Women After Five 16th Annual Reception and Silent Auction
To benefit Sistercare
5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Columbia Conference Center
Admission: $40 per person donation requested
Friday, May 22 – CODA 2009 Carolina Spring Fling
To benefit CODA and Lowcountry survivors of domestic violence
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the University of South Carolina Beaufort Hargray Building and Harvey Plaza
Admission: $50 per person or $40 per person for groups of 10 or more
Saturday, May 16 – Charleston School of Law GRADUATION
Thousands line up to meet with Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) counselors to discuss their mortgages and keep their homes. According to an article in the Columbia Regional Business Report (CRBR), more than 10,000 people participated in the first three days of the Save the Dream event. NACA’s role is to work with homeowners and lenders to stave off foreclosures; often by reducing mortgage rates.
U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn was instrumental in bringing the group to Columbia. According to the CRBR report, Rep. Clyburn noted that “homeownership is the most widespread access to wealth in this country.”
According to an article in The State, 202 counselors were on hand to evaluate each homeowner’s situation; which averaged 45 minutes per case.
Even though the special event ends today, NACA will continue its work in South Carolina at its offices in Columbia and Charleston as well as its nearby offices in Augusta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The subject is that as South Carolina’s ranking rises in unemployment and the financial crisis spirals out of control, the need for assistance rises.
Food pantries like Harvest Hope are working as hard as they can to fill orders. But their supplies are running short.
Other charities, like the United Way of South Carolina, United Way of the Midlands, the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Family Service Center, and the Salvation Army, are working round the clock to assist, but their donations are dwindling as well.
Timothy Ervolina, president of the United Way Association of South Carolina, worries that the web of philanthropic and nonprofit groups may not be able to fulfill the governor’s [Sanford] expectations. Ervolina has watched fundraising fade at United Ways across the state, even as calls pour in to their crisis hotlines.
. . .
South Carolina Legal Services, a statewide network that gives free legal help, in July received the biggest grant handed out by the South Carolina Bar Foundation but in January was asked to return 15 percent of it.
Your donation may offer someone else hope. Hope to carry on. Hope for their children. Hope to live.
Thanks Washington Post for sharing the story of Columbia, SC!
Why did “Dan’s” words hit so hard?
Because the comments by “Dan” from Canada could easily have been written by “Carl” from Cowpens or “Collin” from Columbia. This past year, the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission conducted public hearings around the state to learn of barriers to justice by those living in or just above the federal poverty guidelines.
What did we hear?
So why did “Dan’s” words hit so hard?
Because as an attorney and officer of the court, I took an oath to “assist the defenseless or oppressed by ensuring that justice is available to all citizens and will not delay any person’s cause for profit or malice” (see Lawyer’s Oath).
So why did “Dan’s” words hit so hard?
Because “Dan’s” words let me know that I need to continue to assist South Carolinians in need of access to legal representation and the courts. His words echo the words of so many South Carolinians who spoke at the hearings and many who did not who continue to believe that justice is simply a theory that has not, does not and will not be reality for him.
It’s time for justice to become real to people in need. It’s time for justice to become active. And it’s time for the legal community to come together to make it happen.
It’s time for “Dan’s” words to become obsolete.
From the South Carolina Bar:
Phone bank date change — volunteers still needed!
Volunteers are needed to staff upcoming Ask-A-Lawyer phone banks.
The Florence/Myrtle Beach phone bank has been changed to February 25.
Phone banks will also be held in Columbia on March 10; Greenville/Spartanburg on April 15; and Charleston on May 20 to assist the public with its legal questions.
To volunteer, please contact Debbie Morris at (803) 799-6653, ext. 158.