Twitter and A2J: A Surprisingly Happy Partnership

Just happened to get on Twitter this a.m. for an early morning review of happenings in the Access to Justice (A2J) world, when I noticed a tweet from my colleague in Georgia, Mike Monahan, whose Twitter handle is @ProBono_GA. He retweeted a fellow named Damon Elmore (@bikeGAcounties) who is cycling every county in Georgia to raise money for Georgia Legal Services.

** Fun Fact: There are 159 counties in Georgia. For a full listing, visit http://georgia.gov/municipality-list **

I was blown away by this clever idea. Not only is it a great way to stay in shape with fun exercise, it is a great way to highlight the need for legal services throughout the state.

So, what did I do next? I tweeted, of course:

Just saw is biking every county in Georgia to raise money for – Great idea! Check it out and support him

And, after? I donated to the cause. As of this morning, he has raised $3140. His goal is to raise $15900 or $100 per county with all donations going directly to Georgia Legal Services.

~ rfw

P.S. – As a bonus, he did mention he was born in Beaufort, South Carolina. Maybe when he’s completed his goal in Georgia, we could convince him to visit our 46 counties.

LSC President Sandman Discusses Pro Bono

In case you missed it elsewhere, LSC President Sandman discusses pro bono and its importance to legal services programs.

He also discusses the limitations of legal services organizations and the great value of law firm and corporate pro bono participation. Well worth watching!

Tip of the hat to Cheryl Zalenski at the ABA Center for Pro Bono who tweeted this. Thanks for the heads-up.

-RFW

Friday Wrap: Pro Bono

Today is the final day to make a nomination for the SC Bar’s Pro Bono Award. And, if you’re one of my Twitter followers or Tweeps, then you’ve seen this touted for a while, with especial fervor this week.

And you may wonder, why the big deal? Good question.

Here’s why I think it’s a big deal:

  1. There are a LOT of attorneys out there (in and out of South Carolina) who are helping people for free every day, including weekends and holidays. Many of these attorneys receive no recognition for their work. And they deserve the recognition by the public and their peers.
  2. Often the general public vilifies attorneys and legal work. Many of us are called greedy and lawyer jokes are common. C’mon, we’ve all heard them. They’ve been around forever, even Shakespeare has a famous line about lawyers. But the truth is, while some – in any profession – go into law to make money, many more go into law to help people. And if they are working in the public sector – government or public interest, their salaries are not their main focus. And for many who enter the private sector, while their salaries are higher on average, they also contribute both money and time with pro bono efforts.
  3. And, last, but certainly not least – encouraging pro bono efforts within the legal community is one of the responsibilities (see Responsibility #6) detailed in the Administrative Order establishing the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission. And the SC Bar Pro Bono Program Award Presentation at the annual SC Bar Foundation Gala offers a great opportunity for statewide recognition.

So, if you know an attorney, law firm or program that has provided good pro bono service within the past year, please complete and return the Nomination form. You may just make yourself and someone else feel better. And that’s a good thing, don’t ya think?

-RFW

SC Bar Convention 2010

Well, I’m heading down to the SC Bar Convention at the Sanctuary on Kiawah. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Island and am looking forward to basking a little, right?

Well, I will be attending some CLEs and am helping the SC Bar Convention staff coordinate the Saturday session about Rule 608. I hope to have some exciting stories to tell and hopefully a few photos. Stay tuned . . .

And, if you’re there, please say “hey” to me!

-RFW

PS – If you follow @scatj on Twitter, be on the lookout for Convention hashtags – either #SCBar2010 or #SCB2010!

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

100 days until Celebrate Pro Bono

I just saw a Tweet from the ABA reminding us that we’re 100 days away from Celebrate Pro Bono October 2009 which begins on October 25th this year!

I’ll try to stay current with happenings here in South Carolina, so check in from time to time! And please, if you’re planning an event, please send it to me. I’ll be happy to post it here!

-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