Allow me to introduce myself.

Hi All!

As per Robin’s introduction, my name is Alex Hegji, and I am a current 2L at USC School of Law. This past summer, I had the privilege of clerking for SCATJ, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

I have always had an interest in public interest work, and SCATJ was an invaluable learning experience for me. I had never realized just how many barriers  South Carolinians of low-income or of modest means face when trying to obtain justice for themselves.  The barriers reach far beyond the inability to finance legal representation.  They include the ethical dilemmas faced by clerks of court when they assist self-represented litigants, the difficulties in acquiring sign-language interpreters in the courtroom for the Deaf, and everything in between. 

Some of my favorite projects that I worked on this past summer included helping to author court-approved forms for self-represented litigants and attending public hearings, which provided first-hand insight into the problems manySouth Carolinians must address when entering the S.C. justice system.

I hope this blog will be helpful and provide all of you with a law student’s perspective on SCATJ’s work.

Alex

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2 thoughts on “Allow me to introduce myself.

  1. I don’t get your point. Do you mean that Deaf and Hard of Hearing litigants have to pay for their own sign language interpreters in the South Carolina courts?

  2. Hi Coleen –
    This is a very good, yet complicated question. By law, Deaf and HoH litigants are supposed to be provided with interpreters. Unfortunately during the public hearings, the Commission learned that in some instances, this was not always the case. Additionally there are qualified interpreters and interpreters.

    In fact, Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P&A) presented on this at the final public hearing at the South Carolina Supreme Court on November 5, 2008 – see http://www.sccourts.org/whatsnew/AccessToJusticeCommissionVol1.pdf#page=89.

    Another issue in South Carolina is the lack of qualified interpreters who are able to provide interpretation in legal settings. This is a specialized area for interpreters.

    The Commission has started a workgroup that is working toward solutions to these barriers.

    Thanks for your questions and if you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
    -RFW (rwheeler@scbar.org)

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