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?

Anne Marie (Coval) Hanson

What firm/organization are you working with now?
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina

What kind of pro bono or volunteer work have you been involved in?
Several years ago I was on the inaugural Irmo Arbor Day Committee, which planted trees and helped clean up trash along the roadside. I also served on the board (including as past president) of the USC School of Music Friends of Music, which raises money for scholarships for music students. I am currently on the Richland County CASA Board and am also the USC School of Music appointee on the USC Alumni Committee.

What are the main reasons why you would recommend that law students become involved in pro bono work?
It helps give your life balance and perspective. It sometimes takes you out of your comfort zone, which we all need from time to time. For me personally, when I volunteer I am reminded how extremely blessed and fortunate I am.

How would you encourage current law students to get involved with the Pro Bono program?
Just jump in! There is a serious shortage of people wanting to take an active role in their community. People are ALWAYS appreciative of volunteers - even if you've never done it before. Plus there are lots of different ways to help and volunteer, so you're bound to find something that you're interested in.

Has pro bono work contributed to your sense of career satisfaction?
Honestly probably not! :

Did your experiences in the Pro Bono program at USC prepare you or benefit you in your career?
Ummm ... .

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?
Not really!! I volunteer more because I like to volunteer, not so much in an attorney role.

How do pro bono efforts fit in to the work of the South Carolina Bar?
Not sure. It should be a part of everyone's career, but I know it isn't.

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?
I think attorneys either volunteer or not, and I think that trait was ingrained in them long before law school. It's hard to get attorneys who don't want to do pro bono work out of their shell to try it.

What is most memorable/best experience you had during your law school career through the Pro Bono program?
The most memorable experience was going with an attorney to finalize a will for a lady who was in hospice. We went to her trailer out in the sticks. I still remember thatů all of the hospital equipment stuck in this little trailer and her family thanking us tremendously for taking some time to do this for them. And it was hardly any work at all; just spending a little face time with a person who didn't have much longer to live and wanted to have her affairs in order. If that doesn't make you thankful for what you have, I don't think anything will.

What does the 20th Anniversary of the Pro Bono program mean to you?
I'm happy that it is still going strong and that it will keep allowing law students to give back to the community.

What is your most cherished memory with Pam?
She sent a letter to my parents when I graduated. That was really neat! It put a personal touch on my law school experience. Additionally, getting to serve on a board with her now makes it seem like everything has come full circle. :