This rule concerns the provision of pro bono service to individuals of limited means or public service/charitable organizations. The proposed changes include the creation of a reporting mechanism for pro bono hours and a requirement that those hours be reported to the Bar.
It’s that timeagain – Hurricane Season time – time to address Emergency Preparedness.
The first thing to address is to be prepared (the boy scout motto holds true to this day) or READY, as in ready.gov. On ready.gov, you’ll see that you need to Prepare, Plan and Stay Informed. And, the information is available in multiple languages including Chinese – 中文, French – Francais, Haitian – Creole, Korean – 한국의, Russian – русский язык, Spanish – Español, Tagalog – Tagalog, Vietnamese – tiẽng việt, and Urdu – اردو.
Remember Alexandra D. “Alex” Hegji, the first law clerk for the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission? Well, she graduated this year. And she graduated with a JOB. And she moved to Washington, D.C. to start her job. This I knew.
During her time at SCLS, she has conquered many legal issues including landlord/tenant, divorce, consumer and disability matters;
She is currently the lead bankruptcy attorney within the consumer unit of SCLS; and
She moved to South Carolina from Ohio where she had practiced for 12 years.
A few notes from the people who nominated her:
When she started at SCLS: Almost immediately, (no one can remember exactly when), she was fully oriented to the legal aid culture and was building a diverse caseload that has grown beyond all boundaries owing to her famous zeal at case acceptance meetings.
The justice system is better for her example, energy and abundant legal skill. Her humor enlivened every case acceptance meeting.
I could not be more impressed with her professionalism and cheerful work ethic – she is uniquely motivated in her desire to help others.
Maureen’s most significant achievement on a statewide level has been her work as our Lead Bankruptcy Attorney. When SCLS’ Bankruptcy Roadshow was created by the Consumer Unit, Maureen led the way as we went around the state training SCLS attorneys to handle bankruptcy cases. We significantly increased the number of attorneys handling bankruptcy and the number of clients being served by SCLS filing bankruptcy for them.
Meet Ms. Maureen White:
Once again – congratulations Maureen White!
And Ed McMahon – thanks for the inspiration . . . it’s a lot of fun to surprise people with flowers, balloons, and good news!
On Monday Night, WLTX became ground zero for ASK-A-LAWYER. We arrived in time to start and learned that the calls had started as early as 4:30 p.m. Once we were shown our call-center, we started answering phones “Ask-A-Lawyer, how may I help you?” while our web counter-parts began their online-duty.
The 6 on-camera attorneys were Cynthia A. Coker, T. Jeff Goodwyn, Edna Primus, Jennifer W. Rubin, Tana Vanderbilt and Robin F. Wheeler.
The phones were ringing non-stop. WLTX graciously provided us with water and chocolate; both of which were appreciated. Darci Strickland and Andrea Mock interviewed us during the session and helped us maintain our energy with their enthusiasm. And at the end of the evening, JR Berry dropped by to thank us for our hard work.
18 of my 30 calls originated from Richland County;
1 from Fairfield;
1 from Florence;
1 from Greenwood;
2 from Kershaw;
3 from Lexington;
3 from Orangeburg; and
1 from Sumter.
Mind you, I had 30 calls total in a 2 1/2 hour span and I even took a moment off the phones for an interview.
6 questions about Divorce/Alimony
5 Child Support/Child Custody and Visitation/Adoption
4 Consumer Law including Bankruptcy
3 Wills and Estates
2 Medical Malpractice/Health Care
1 Social Security
1 Homeowners Associations
1 Traffic Laws
1 question about Taxes; and
2 non-legal questions.
Ask-A-Lawyer also included the “web-chat” piece. Three attorneys (Peter M. Balthazor, K. Cameron Currie, and Jennifer L. Locklier) fielded web questions during the same time.
All in all, it was a busy time, but I enjoyed every caller and hope that they felt that they had received a worthy service from us. I will DEFINITELY do this again.
Thanks to SC Bar staff Deborah Morris who coordinates the event, Joey Heape who insures that the web equipment functioned properly, and Elizabeth Martin who popped in for a few photos.
And special thanks to our host station, WLTX. You helped us make this a success!
LATE PS – I wish I had asked the name of the camera operator at our station because he was an absolute delight. When he saw us running out of water, he brought the new bottle to us. Thank you Camera Operator!
When I pulled up South Carolina, 10 of the 22 occupational areas had typical hourly wages within the poverty range.
Almost half. Almost half of the people going to work every day in South Carolina are working for wages that keep them in poverty.
That’s scary! Especially when most of us consider that employment helps to break the poverty cycle. It’s daunting when you think that the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission was set up expressly to ensure that people living in poverty receive equal access within the civil court system. Essentially one of the unspoken beliefs is that full access to the same legal rights helps lift people out of poverty.
It’s certainly time for us to wage a war on poverty.
People living in poverty face barriers within the public education system.
People living in poverty face barriers within the public health care system.
People living in poverty face barriers within the civil and criminal justice systems.
If people going to work everyday remain in poverty, then how can we expect to break the cycle of injustice? Educational injustice. Health care injustice. Civil and criminal injustice.