It’s official – Poster and FAQs online – en español

Good News!  ¡Buenas noticias!

The South Carolina Courts’ Self-Help Page now offers FAQs (General Questions, Circuit Court and Family Court) and an explanation about what court staff can and cannot in Spanish!

And many thanks to student volunteers with the USC School of Law’s Pro Bono Program and the kind folks at HABLA!

-RFW

Report of the Task Force on State Courts and the Elderly Released

Today the Supreme Court of South Carolina released the Report of the Task Force on State Courts and the Elderly.

It is well worth reading, if only to note how South Carolina demographics have changed over the years and to see predictions for our future.

Well done!

-RFW

Last Week to Nominate for Ellen Hines Smith Award

You have until November 15th to nominate a South Carolina Legal Services attorney for the Ellen Hines Smith Award.

This year the award event is especially exciting because it will take place during the South Carolina Bar Foundation’s Annual Gala on March 11, 2010.

I can’t wait to learn who receives the award!

-RFW

earlier post

U.S. Department of Justice Overhauls its Site

Have you heard?

Listen Up

The U.S. Department of Justice overhauled its website and has added a blog. They’re also online on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

Justice.gov en español

The site is clean and easy to navigate. If you have a moment, take a look!

-RFW

This American Life Features SRLs

Just posted this on Twitter, then realized, why not add to the Blog?

On this site, you’ve read about Self-Represented Litigants or SRLs numerous times. And, last December, SCETV’s The Big Picture featured Access to Justice with a focus on SRLs. This week, NPR’s This American Life features SRLs in their episode #385 entitled “Pro Se.”

Should be interesting. I’ll be tuning in!

-RFW

Welcome Allie Bullard!

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission is pleased to present our latest pro bono addition, Allie Bullard! Allie is assisting the Commission this summer as a pro bono law clerk. She is a rising 2L at the USC School of Law and we are thrilled to have her on board.

And, she’s agreed to be a blogger from time to time.

Welcome Allie!

Allie Bullard - 1st day

-RFW

Ah, youth today!

I was heartened to read a blog at Citizen Law Program at the University of Iowa College of Law entitled Why Make Time to Volunteer in a Law-Related (Pro Bono) Project?

I recommend it to you too, especially if you’ve ever wondered about generational gaps. And yes, I’m as guilty of that as anyone else my age.

Coincidence about Iowa, right?

-RFW

Hey Bloggers – It’s National Freedom of Speech Week

Welcome to National Freedom of Speech Week, October 20-26, 2008!

First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

While the First Amendment offers quite a few freedoms – religion, speech, press, right to assemble, etc. – it’s only proper to examine the right of free speech.

You, dear reader, are currently taking part in this amazing information database – the internet. There are billions of websites available and so much more information and disinformation available via this incredible resource. The freedom of speech allows you, me, and us to access things, legal things, unavailable to previous generations. Court documents, court orders, case histories, etc.

Education also allows us to take advantage of this freedom. Sure YouTube has a LOT of visitors looking at the pictures, but so do blogs. Just this week I saw the increase in the number of “hits” to this blog simply due to a celebrity boost (Hey Stephen Colbert – should I say “the Springfield bump?” You know, like the Colbert Bump?) You may think that this is due to the photos of Rick Springfield, but how did people find out about these photos – they read about it – through an RSS feed, an email, etc. BECAUSE OF THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THESE UNITED STATES.

So, next time you are about to gripe about someone’s opinion piece, the news or even a blog (hopefully not this one), consider how lucky you are to have that choice! You can choose to read, listen or change websites.

And I can choose to write.

How lucky are we!

-RFW