The Award winner will be decided by a joint awards committee of the SC Bar Foundation and SC ATJ Commission. The Award will be jointly presented at SC Bar Foundation Gala on March 11, 2010, so be sure to SAVE THE DATE.
Afterward I returned to the office to begin other work, especially that involving increasing pro bono service by the private bar. And if you’re not familiar with Rule 608 which some private bar members attribute as the primary barrier to increased pro bono service in South Carolina, click here.
At any rate, I entered a discussion of pro bono. In the midst of an enthusiastic discussion, one of the three participants advocated a position. Immediately I (re)entered the discussion and proceeded to reject this concept. At the end of my pontification, I sat back in my chair, feeling satisfied that my response had enlightened both participants. Instead, the person who had originally advocated the position, re-stated the position. I turned to both participants and said “oh, you said [legal term].” Both nodded in agreement. At that, I apologized and agreed with the original position.
One other factor that is extremely important to the Clerks, Court Administration and the Commission is that the information is provided in an easy-to-read format and that it is easily understandable. In other words, we want them to be written in PLAIN LANGUAGE.
This week the Commission is submitting the Questions and Answers to the Circuit Court and Family Court Advisory Committees where they will provide another level of scrutiny to ensure that the answers are accurate, complete and helpful.
When the FAQs with their model answers are complete, they will be available online. Be stay tuned for updates.
We’re looking forward to sharing the FAQs and answers with you!
From early on at the SC Access to Justice Commission, I’ve been exposed to pros and cons of having people represent themselves in court. For the most part both sides have presented thoughtful, articulate and well-reasoned arguments for their side. And both sides have their share of passion; both positive and negative.
Some Commissioners and I have been accused of trying to take away business from hard-working attorneys because the Commission is working on self-represented initiatives.
On the other hand, the Commission received information during the public hearings that many people were already representing themselves – without success.
Regardless of which side you favor, the reality is that more people are showing up in court without legal representation.
For many, it’s because they simply cannot afford to hire an attorney or they cannot find an attorney willing to represent them.
For others, it’s simply their choice – for reasons unknown.
Maybe they can afford an attorney but prefer to spend the money on a vacation or a new pair of shoes.
Maybe they believe they are as smart as any attorney, so why should they pay.
Maybe they had a prior bad experience when they hired an attorney and want to avoid that at all costs.
Maybe the issue is straightforward and they can represent themselves.
Maybe their neighbor told them that they had a positive SRL experience.
Twenty-three of the 30 largest states, which account for more than 88% of the nation’s total population, see welfare caseloads above year-ago levels, according to a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and the National Conference of State Legislatures. As more people run out of unemployment compensation, many are turning to welfare as a stopgap.
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.