Part 2: Volunteer Katie Conyers

Katie Conyers

Katie Conyers is a senior majoring in Spanish at Furman University, so how did she end up at the Greenville office of South Carolina Legal Services?

Katie is currently enrolled in a Political Science course, 506 Fieldwork in State and Local Public Affairs, which is an internship in local or state governmental agencies or nongovernmental agencies, taught by Teresa Cosby, a former SCLS employee. Ms. Cosby needed a Spanish speaker for an internship position this semester and approached Katie about filling it. Katie was interested in the position and met with Jada Charley, the SCLS Language Access Coordinator. Turns out that Katie and Jada have quite a bit in common and Katie was up for the challenge.

So in January 2010, Katie began her internship at the Greenville SCLS office.

A typical day in the office for Katie includes:

  • Writing letters in Spanish;
  • Translating brochures from English into Spanish;
  • Writing articles for Spanish language news; and
  • Assisting with intakes as needed.

She notes “a lot of writing!”

When she came to work, she didn’t bring a lot of preconceived notions. She knew only that she wanted to learn. She has learned that the cases coming into SCLS cover different legal needs than high profile legal cases that make it into the news. Additionally, working with clients of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) has shown her how difficult it is for them to understand the problems facing them and even more difficult for them to understand the “fixes.”

She offered that she feels honored to be part of such a warm and welcoming team; and has never felt out of place at SCLS.

I had one more question for Katie:

Have you ever considered going to law school?

Originally I had considered going into academia, but this experience has stirred up thoughts about my future. I don’t know about pursuing law school, but working here (at Greenville SCLS) has been a positive experience.

-RFW

Thanks SCLS!

Earlier this month I was invited to attend the South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach.  And it’s hard for me to express the feelings I had. Everyone was welcoming to me and I had a great time. Even better, I came away with a better understanding of what SCLS does and the dedication their staff has to their job. In fact, I dare say that many SCLS attorneys and support staff believe that their work is a calling. I was glad to be a part of SCLS for 3 days!

And I’m thankful for the work they do including:

  1. To keep people in their homes;
  2. To make sure people are able to access benefits;
  3. To help people out of unsafe living conditions; and
  4. To let people know that they are not alone in the civil legal system.

Below are some photos from the Conference: (I wish I had more to share, but most shots were under- or over-exposed)

Opening Dinner 11/10/09
George Cauthen, SCATJ Commissioner and SCLS Board Member
Getting to Know Staff Begins

Singing
Singing with guitar accompaniment
Poetry
Flute Solo
The Fashion Show Begins
Models
More Fashion
Like New York Fashion Week
Fierce
Making it work (a la Tim Gunn)
Let the Votes Begin
More Fashion Votes
Door Prize

Agenda
Consumer Law
More Consumer Law Issues
Attentive Students
Continuing Legal Education
The Knowledgeable Panel
Truth in Lending Act
Willard N. Timm, Jr., Assistant Director, Tax Clinic, Georgia State University
Jada Charley introduces Steve Cook to speak re: Assistive Technology

Again, many thanks SCLS!

-RFW