Guest Blogger: Cynthia Cothran, LRE Director at the SC Bar

Help make mock trial rock!


Volunteers Needed!

It is that time of year again!

The Law Related Education (LRE) Division is seeking volunteers for its growing mock trial programs, which teach middle and high school students about the legal system through trial role playing. Mock trial volunteers enjoy the thrill of competition while scoring and presiding over trials. LRE not only needs volunteers to score the competitions, but attorney coaches to help prepare the teams.


Competitions Dates and Locations are as follows:

October 31, 2009 Middle School Mock Trial Regional Competitions (Charleston (full), Columbia, Conway and Greenville)

November 21, 2009 Middle School Mock Trial State Competition (Lexington) (full)

February 27, 2010 High School Mock Trial Regional Competitions (Charleston, Columbia, Conway, and Greenville)

March 12-13, 2010 High School Mock Trial State Competition (Columbia)


If anyone is interested in serving as an attorney coach instead of a scoring judge, there are several high schools that need attorney coaches that are as follows:

Berkeley County: Cane Bay High School

Horry: Carolina Forest High School

Richland: Lower Richland High School, Ridgeview High School, Spring Valley High School

York: Nations Ford High School, Westminster Catawba Christian School

Pickens: D.W. Daniel High School

All mock trial volunteers earn pro bono credit for their hours dedicated to the mock trial program. To learn more or volunteer, contact Cynthia H. Cothran at or at (803) 252-5139.

Spotlight on South Carolina Legal Services, Kimaka Nichols-Graham

SCLS: Middle School Experience Better for One Student



Spotlight on South Carolina Legal Services, Kimaka Nichols-Graham


Just last week, Ms. Nichols-Graham, a South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) attorney, represented a middle school student (STUDENT) in Greenville County at an expulsion hearing. A classmate handed STUDENT a prescription pill. When STUDENT realized it was a pill STUDENT tried to hand it back to the classmate who gave it to her. The classmate refused to take back the pill.  Then STUDENT threw the pill in a garbage can.


STUDENT Background: STUDENT is an A-B student and has had no other discipline issues this school year.  STUDENT very much dislikes medication and when it’s necessary for STUDENT to take medication, parent must chop up pills for student to take them.


Ms. Nichols-Graham prevailed at the hearing. Congratulations Ms. Nichols-Graham and SCLS!


OF NOTE: Although Ms. Nichols-Graham won the hearing, she was concerned that other students would still not be safe from the threat of expulsion for “throwing pills away.” She noted that “there needs to be a safe way for students to turn in illegal drugs or weapons that they discover or don’t intend to accept because schools will be safer if innocent students do not have to hide extremely dangerous discoveries.”


What do you say South Carolina Policymakers? Any ideas?


FACTOID:  Ms. Nichols-Graham’s appearance at the expulsion hearing last week made the 490th court appearance for 2008 for the Greenville County South Carolina Legal Services office. Will they make the elusive 500 ‘total court appearances’ in 2008? Stay tuned.