20th Anniversary Celebration

20th Anniversary Celebration Committee

20 Things You Might Not Know

20 Things You Can Do

Where are they now?

History of the Pro Bono Program

For the Good of the Order

Pro Bono Program

Where are they now?

Debbie Drucker Deutschmann

What firm/organization are you working with now?
Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

What kind of pro bono or volunteer work have you been involved in?
In addition to handling my court appointed pro bono cases, I actively volunteer with the Junior League of Columbia and Hadassah. I am currently programming chair of the South Carolina Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and am a member of the South Carolina Bar's Professional Potential Task Force and the Women Lawyers Association. I was a volunteer guardian ad litem though the Richland County CASA program during law school and continued to volunteer with this program for several years after law school.

What are the main reasons why you would recommend that law students become involved in pro bono work?
Pro bono work enables students to gain practical experience and gives them an accurate picture of some of the legal needs there are in the community.

How would you encourage current law students to get involved with the Pro Bono program?
While I am not familiar with the way current law students are presently being encouraged to get involved, I would be happy to participate in these efforts.

Has pro bono work contributed to your sense of career satisfaction?
Yes. I enjoy handling my pro bono cases. These cases help me remember how important family is and to appreciate how fortunate I am. It is truly humbling to realize the challenges so many people face on a daily basis.

Did your experiences in the Pro Bono program at USC prepare you or benefit you in your career?
Yes, especially in regards to my court appointed cases. My pro bono experiences during law school helped me feel more comfortable in representing clients that are facing serious issues that affect their families.

In your career, have you seen an overlap between your volunteer work and your sense of your own place in the community and the legal profession?
While many of my in-house counsel colleagues do not handle their own court appointments, my experiences with the Pro Bono program have instilled in me the sense of responsibility that I have to handle my own court appointments. Additionally, my pro bono cases inspire me to remain active in other volunteer opportunities that directly impact my community.

How do pro bono efforts fit in to the work of the South Carolina Bar?

What kind of perceptions, positive or negative, do you think that the bar as a whole has about attorneys who are actively involved in pro bono work?

What is most memorable/best experience you had during your law school career through the Pro Bono program?
I really enjoyed volunteering with the Lexington County Juvenile Arbitration Program.

What does the 20th Anniversary of the Pro Bono program mean to you?
It makes me happy to know that there continues to be an effort by the law school to provide Pro Bono services to some of the many South Carolinians that need these services while also providing valuable learning experiences for the students.

What is your most cherished memory with Pam?
I remember spending time in the Pro Bono office and talking to Pam about a variety of topics. She has always been so approachable and given sound advice.