6 Months in 2009

How are you faring on your New Year’s Resolutions?

New Year's Resolutions Lookin' Good
New Year’s Resolutions Lookin’ Good

 OR

New Year's Resolutions, er, not lookin' so good
New Year’s Resolutions, er, not lookin’ so good

And why am I asking? Well, this morning I was having a tough time determining what to write so I popped a few terms into the site search and found my previous post SC ATJ New Year’s Wishes or Resolutions? from December 31, 2008. As we’ve now reached a little more than halfway through the year I thought we’d take a look at the progress.

Let’s start with #12

#12. SCATJ will develop a working relationship with legal paraprofessionals throughout the state.

PROGRESS:

Lookin’ Good: On January 21, 2009 I spoke at the Palmetto Paralegal Association’s January Membership meeting and introduced members to the SC Access to Justice Commission. 

Not Lookin’ So Good: The presentation is simply the start of building a working relationship. There are other paraprofessional organizations within the state. Follow-up with PPASC is needed so that the level of interest remains.

Stay tuned. I’ll update you on the rest of the resolutions and progress of this one.

-RFW

SC ATJ New Year’s Wishes or Resolutions?

COUNTDOWN TO 2009

rfw-hny092

As the New Year’s wishes and resolutions are starting to pour in, I’ve had a few moments to ponder Access to Justice resolutions for 2009. Before I lose count of the many goals for 2009, I thought I’d share a few.

12. South Carolina Access to Justice will develop a working relationship with legal paraprofessionals throughout the state.

11. Technology advances such as instant messaging, podcasts, YouTube videos, and email allow greater communication to and for people in need of low-cost legal services, especially when transportation imposes a barrier.

10. The Commission and partner organizations reach solutions to the need for interpreters for individuals who are Deaf and with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

9.  South Carolina law students, both USC School of Law and Charleston School of Law students, become engaged in access to justice and collaborate with the Commission for creative solutions.

8. South Carolina attorneys recognize the opportunity that unbundled or limited scope legal services can provide to South Carolinians with low income or of modest means, especially during this financial climate while sustaining the attorney’s practice at the same time.

7. SC Access to Justice establishes a library workgroup to assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) with access to approved, free legal forms (http://www.sccourts.org/forms/indexSelfHelp.cfm) and to establish a long-lasting partnership with libraries.

6. All South Carolinians who are unable to afford an attorney can reach one access point for all South Carolina legal service organizations.

5. Every County Courthouse will house or have access to a nearby self-help center for self-represented litigants.

4. Every county self-help center will be staffed for a minimum of 5 hours per week by pro bono attorneys.

3. Every South Carolina licensed attorney completes at least 50 hours of pro bono service as per ABA Model Rule 6.1 VOLUNTARY PRO BONO SERVICE.

2. The Second Pilot Lawyer Mentor Program incorporates the aspirational Pro Bono expectation and that it becomes a “shall” instead of a “should.”

1. That ALL South Carolinians have equal access to the law and its remedies without regard to their economic status.

Happy New Year!

-RFW