Eat at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, Help Richland County CASA

Just in from Richland County CASA:

Make plans now to eat dinner out this coming Wednesday, July 18, 2012, between 5-9 p.m. at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina located at 5135 Sunset Blvd. Suite H, Lexington, SC 29072.

10% of all ticket sales will be donated to Richland County CASA in support of abused and neglected children!

 Come On! You have to eat anyway, so make it a night out and support the CASA Children!

Can’t think of a better reason to eat good food and help a cause! See you there.


Training Opportunity by SCCADVASA

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) Training Announcement:  Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking within the United States

 July 19, 2012

SC Department of Juvenile Justice

Bill Rogers Community Connections Center

4900 Broad River Road

Columbia, SC 29212

Registration and Additional Information at:

Registration deadline is July 13, 2012

Space is Limited, so please register soon.

For Hotel Reservations Call:

Call Hampton Inn-Harbison 803.749.6999

101 Woodcross Drive

Columbia, SC 29212

Refer to group code: SCC

The deadline to confirm the group rate of $89.00 per night plus applicable taxes and fees is July 4, 2012.

For more information, please call Donna Thompson at 803.256.2900 ext. 106 or email


FREE for SCCADVASA Member Program Advocates

$15.00 for SCCADVASA Affiliate Members & Students (Students must provide ID)

$25.00 for General Registration

There will be 6.0 Continuing Education Hours offered for:

  • LPC,
  • MFTH,
  • Law Enforcement,
  • Social Work and
  • Victim Service Provider.

Celebrate Pro Bono: Allison Humen

As part of Celebrate Pro Bono 2011, we are highlighting pro bono legal service in South Carolina.

Meet ALLISON HUMEN, 3L at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Allison Humen

Allison Humen currently serves as the SBA Liaison to the USC School of Law Pro Bono Board. When asked what drew her to pro bono service, she recalled:

Since I was younger, I have participated in various service projects and organizations.  The Pro Bono program offered the opportunity to continue serving not only the community at-large, but also the legal field which we are all now a part of.  Not only do you get to serve, but you are able to do this alongside your classmates. 

She describes her first major experience with the Pro Bono Program, the Harvest Hope Food Drive in the fall of of 1st year:  

All of the students and professors do a wonderful job of encouraging students to work together to make such a large donation to Harvest Hope each year.  Being a part of this unified effort in giving back to the community proved how much good the school can do.  Since then, I was invited to join the Pro Bono Board, from which I have not only been able to participate in various projects, but also help organize these projects for the student body.

She’s been involved in several pro bono projects over the past few years:

I completed the Guardian ad Litem training in my first year, and since then having been serving as an advocate for the best interests of the children in my cases.  From speaking to older classmates and hearing about their experience with this program, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to help families and children, while being able to participate in the legal process.  Although it is difficult at times by playing an important role in these children’s’ lives and their future, it has been an invaluable experience.  I would recommend this program to every law student.  Not only does this experience remind you of the personal aspect of the law which we are studying, it also gives you practical experience.

 I am currently a Carolina Clerk.  This is a program created by Pam Robinson and Dean Wilcox, which matches volunteer law students with lawyers who have agreed to pro bono client representation.  The Pro Bono Program has widely publicized this new program throughout the school as well as on the school’s website, so I was eager to help kick-off the program and volunteered early.  The current case I am working on is a DSS case, so it has been interesting to work on family law issues from the standpoint of the parent, rather than the children which are the sole focus of the Guardian ad Litem role. 

As a member of a few student organizations I wanted to create a way for different organizations to team up and serve together.  With the help of Pam, the Student Bar Association and the Pro Bono Board initiated Good Deed Friday.  This program gives all of the student organizations, journals, Moot Court Bar, and Mock Trial Bar the opportunity to join together and volunteer a (Fri)day of service at a local charitable organization.  Our first Friday was September 30th, which members of the Student Bar Association, Pro Bono Board, and the Real Property Trust and Estate Law Journal volunteered a few hours at the Harvest Hope Food Bank.  Not only are we helping the community, but we are also strengthening the law school community by enabling student leaders to bond over these “good deeds.”

Any lessons learned from pro bono?

Pro bono work has expanded my view of how many people are in need and are in need in so many different ways.  When you are surrounded by so many fortunate members of the law school community for the vast majority of your time, it is easy to forget how many people go without.  Participating in pro bono has heightened my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with, as well as my compassion for those who have less and my responsibility to help any small way I can.  

What’s your advice to other law students?

Get involved early!  Even if you are afraid you won’t have the time. Everyone in law school is busy, but Pam does a wonderful job of providing a wide-range of opportunities within the Pro Bono Program.  So if you only have one afternoon a month to offer, we will find a place for you to volunteer then!  If you aren’t able to complete the two-week Guardian ad Litem training, there are many ways to volunteer that do not require any additional training! 

Will you continue pro bono service after law school?

My passion for service did not begin in law school, and I am certain that it will not end after graduation.  It is important for every one of us to do pro bono work, and I believe this need is only strengthened once you become a licensed attorney.  At that point, you will have more tools in your belt and therefore be able to serve the community in ways that the majority of the population cannot. 

Thanks for your service Allison! I look forward to hearing more from you in the future!


Thanks 2011 Mock Trial Judges!

Everyday I’m reminded why I like the law. There are so many reasons, but one of the most important is how much I like and respect my colleagues.

We endure lawyer jokes. We are cursed along with “used-car salesmen” (and are they really so bad? My cars were exactly what I wanted).

And sure, there are some who bring out the worst.

BUT there are even more who are really cool people. They engage in their communities and take an active leadership role. Below is such a list. All these attorneys took time out to coach, judge or coordinate local High School student mock trial competitions. And that IS really cool. THANKS!

Take a look, you may know one or more. (click to enlarge)


Access to Justice: South Dakota Style

Below is an excerpt from the South Dakota State of the Judiciary delivered by Chief Justice David Gilbertson on January 12, 2011. As with Iowa’s excerpts, this pertains to access to justice for people with low-income or those of modest means. Of note – service to self-represented litigants (SRLs).


A Chief Justice from another state told me that 70% of the divorces in her state are now done by people attempting to represent themselves. We have an increasing number of our citizens who cannot afford to hire an attorney even if one is available in their area. Yet these citizens need and deserve access to our courts. We have worked with the Access to Justice Program of the State Bar to encourage attorneys to provide free legal services to those who need them. Currently there are 275 attorneys who have agreed to do so, an increase of 100 attorneys from last year. This number, while impressive, falls significantly short of the existing need.

Our Unified Judicial System has created many legal forms for those individuals who for various reasons, economic and otherwise, will be representing themselves in a judicial proceeding. At this point the forms deal with domestic relations issues such as divorce, name changes, and child support. Many of these forms are available free on the Internet at the UJS website,, or for a small fee at any Clerk of Court’s office. We hope to expand their scope and availability in the future.


Eat Tacos, Battle Domestic Violence

Beginning today at 11:00 a.m. and running through Monday, November 15th at 9:00 p.m., you can participate in the 18th Annual TACOS FOR SISTERCARE.


During that time for each taco sold at Taco Bell® restaurants in the Columbia, SC community listed below, 10¢ will be contributed to Sistercare.

Sistercare provides services for battered women and their children residing in Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry and Richland counties in South Carolina.

Sistercare’s services include:

  • Children’s Services
  • Community Counseling Services
  • Community Education and Awareness
  • Court Advocacy
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Service Telephone Line
  • Shelter Follow-Up Program
  • Transitional Housing
  • Hispanic Outreach Services

Please tell everyone, your co-workers, friends and family about this fundraiser. What could be more fun than to eat tacos at Taco Bell® and know that you’re helping Sistercare?


We’re talking about eating TACOS, any tacos from crunchy beef tacos to soft potato tacos.


  • 9802 Two Notch Road

  • 7526 Garners Ferry Road

  • 515 W. Main St., Lexington

  • 2632 Decker Blvd.

  • 1928 Broad River Road

  • 739 Knox Abbott Dr., Cayce

  • 3983 Platt Springs Road, W. Columbia

  • 4328 Sunset Blvd., Lexington

  • 1112 Broad St., Sumter

  • 1192 Lake Murray Blvd. Irmo


Focus on Pro Bono: Margaret “Marti” Bluestein

Margaret "Marti" Bluestein

Margaret, or as she is more commonly known, Marti Bluestein graduated from the USC School of Law in 1993; and is one of the founding partners of Bluestein Nichols Thompson Delgado, LLC.

What first drew you to pro bono work?

I was drawn to pro bono work, because I feel like everyone should give back in some way.  I am a lawyer, and this is my way of helping.

What is your current pro bono service?

My current pro bono work includes serving as a guardian when called on in DSS cases.  I have represented SSI claimants in the past though I have not done that in quite some time.  I was first introduced to the pro bono program as a young lawyer.  I volunteered for the Access to Justice Committee of the S.C. Bar many years ago and the pro bono program was involved with that committee.  I get calls from the SC Bar and CASA to serve as a guardian.

I understand you have a long history of pro bono. What other projects did you work on?

I used to work on the Pro Bono Auction and actually headed that up for several years.  I volunteered for free legal clinics as a young lawyer, but mostly I have served as a guardian or have represented SSI claimants.

Do you find pro bono service rewarding?

My most rewarding cases have been the ones where I served as a child’s guardian.  It is an incredible feeling to give them a voice.

Have you found any surprises through your pro bono service?

I have learned that people are truly thankful for the assistance that you give them.  You are usually their last hope.

Any words of wisdom for law students or other attorneys re: pro bono?

I would like to tell students and lawyers alike that doing pro bono work always brings me as much joy as the person I helped.  It reminds me what a difference our profession can make.