I am pleased to announce that the 2015 Ellen Hines Smith Award Nominations are now open. The form is found at Ellen Hines Smith Nomination 2015. Nominations are open until February 17, 2016.
Please note that previous award recipients are not eligible.
Previous Award Recipients
1989 – Martha B. Dicus
1990 – Thomas L. Bruce
1991 – Johnny Simpson
1992 – Harold F. Daniels
1993 – Andrea E. Loney
1994 – Mozella Nicholson
1995 – Thomas A. Trent
1996 – Susan A. Cross
1997 – Angela M. Myers
1998 – Ethel E. Weinberg
1999 – Nancy M. Butler
2000 – Byron A. Reid
2001 – Lynn P. Wagner
2002 – Eddie McDonnell
2003 – Frank Cannon
2004 – Willie B. Heyward
2005 – Lynn Snowber-Marini
2007 – Marcia Powell-Shew
2009 – Maureen White
2010 – Susan J. Firimonte
2011 – Jack E. Cohoon
2012 – Kirby Mitchell
2013 – Kimberly Shelton
2014 – Kimaka Nichols-Graham
The award will be presented at the South Carolina Bar House of Delegates’ May meeting. The award recipient will be selected by a joint committee of the South Carolina Bar Foundation and the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.
I look forward to receiving nominations!
If you haven’t taken a look at websites lately, it may be useful to note that www.sclegal.org has a slightly new look. It’s not enough to scare anyone off, or to refresh to make sure you’re on the right page, but there are some updates to make it more user-friendly. such as:
- a band that lets you know what’s new at SC Legal Services;
- a DONATE button in case you’re in a generous spirit or are feeling ready to make a gift in honor or in memory of someone; and
- some easy links to resources – clinic calendar, self-represented litigant resources, etc.
Self-Help Court-Approved Forms
Court forms developed to provide better access to South Carolina courts without the assistance of an attorney for self-represented litigants.
Apply for Homeowner Assistance
Avoid Foreclosure! South Carolina Legal Services may be able to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
South Carolina Legal Services offers various clinics for low income South Carolinians. Sign up for one today!
Public Legal Resources
South Carolina Legal Services provides self-help and legal resources for the general public.
This has been a whirlwind autumn and it’s hard to believe it’s already 2015! I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year.
The SC Access to Justice Commission has undergone a recent overhaul. On October 20, 2014, the Chief Justice issued a new Administrative Order for the Commission. The changes ensure that Commissioners represent a broader scope of judges and attorneys, while imposing term limits so that we don’t overstay our welcome with our Commissioners, who already volunteer their time and talent.
In keeping with a new order, we have new Commissioners. Click here for a list.
Stay tuned for updates on our initiatives.
Many thanks to all of you who support access to justice!
The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission is pleased to open nominations for the Ellen Hines Smith South Carolina Legal Services Attorney of the Year Award.
2014 Ellen Hines Smith Nomination Form
Nominations will remain open until November 12, 2014.
The award winner will be decided by a joint awards committee of the South Carolina Bar Foundation and the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. The award will be jointly presented at the South Carolina Bar Foundation Gala, to be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015.
Just happened to get on Twitter this a.m. for an early morning review of happenings in the Access to Justice (A2J) world, when I noticed a tweet from my colleague in Georgia, Mike Monahan, whose Twitter handle is @ProBono_GA. He retweeted a fellow named Damon Elmore (@bikeGAcounties) who is cycling every county in Georgia to raise money for Georgia Legal Services.
** Fun Fact: There are 159 counties in Georgia. For a full listing, visit http://georgia.gov/municipality-list **
I was blown away by this clever idea. Not only is it a great way to stay in shape with fun exercise, it is a great way to highlight the need for legal services throughout the state.
So, what did I do next? I tweeted, of course:
Every now and again, I need a reminder to share information.
Earlier today, I received a request from someone desperately trying to find out where to find help for an expungement. And, the resource is below:
- Your Guide to Expungement in South Carolina (updated in November 2013). This fabulous, free resource was pulled together by the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. It can be found online at http://www.scfathersandfamilies.com/public/files/docs/Nov2013UpdatedGuide.pdf. It basically walks folks through expungement (Step 4) while letting them know whether expungement is a possibility (Step 3) and, if so, which one to go for.
If you want additional information on expungement and pardons, below are also some helpful links:
To find legal help or a lawyer:
To find more information on the legal system in South Carolina
To get a copy of your criminal record
- South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Records Department, Post Office Box 21398, Columbia, SC 29221, 803-896-1443, www.sled.sc.gov
To find more information on expungement, pardons, or other issues relating to fatherhood
- The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, 2711 Middleburg Drive, Suite 111, Columbia, SC 29204, 803-227-8800, www.scfathersandfamilies.com
Sometimes all it takes is a little knowledge. Hope this helps.
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?