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Pro Bono Program

Volunteer Opportunities

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Law Related Projects

CAROLINA CLERKS: Pro Bono Clerks for Pro Bono Lawyers
Carolina Clerks matches volunteer law students with SC lawyers who have agreed to pro bono client representation. Time requirement is on a case by case basis

HELP-Homeless Legal Clinic
Collaboration between a number of community organizations and the Richland County Bar Association has resulted in this effort to assist the homeless population in the Greater Columbia area. Legal clinics will be held once a month. Law student volunteers may serve in several positions: law clerk for the on-site volunteer attorneys and translators on an as needed basis.

LEXINGTON COUNTY JUVENILE ARBITRATION PROGRAM
Permits the first time offender to purge their record from the system by completing a set of requirements set forth by a volunteer arbitrator. Law Students will serve as arbitrators conducting hearings for juveniles and will monitor their progress in meeting the requirements set forth in the arbitration.

PROJECT AYUDA: Law Students Helping the Hispanic Community
Volunteers assist the Hispanic community by providing information about legal and non-legal issues, connecting with attorneys, and locating resources where Spanish is spoken. Volunteers also translate a limited number of documents

PUBLIC DEFENDERS' OFFICES
Law students provide research, monitor court proceedings and assist in case preparation with attorneys who represent SC's indigent population in criminal matters. Volunteering may take place in the Richland or Lexington County offices.

RICHLAND COUNTY CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates
Volunteers are appointed to appear in Family Court on behalf of children in abuse and neglect cases. Working with the Richland County CASA Project, students act as unbiased representatives for the child; conduct confidential investigations; assist in preparing a plan of action; with the aid of the child's attorney see that all pertinent information is heard by the court; help coordinate suitable social services and ensure educational continuity.

SC ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION
The mission of the SC Access to Justice Commission is to expand access to civil legal representation for South Carolinians with low or moderate means. Law student volunteers will assist with research, intake and on special projects.

SC APPLESEED LEGAL JUSTICE CENTER
Assistance in the research and preparation of material for attorney training and case litigation. Issues are those affecting the indigent population and range from bankruptcy, adoption, divorce, Social Security, Medicaid, landlord-tenant, consumer debt, to housing. Research on specific cases may also be available with local Legal Services offices.

SC BAR PRO BONO PROGRAM
Students will be involved in research on specific Pro Bono cases. Students will be assigned directly to a pro bono attorney. Research requests may also result from questions posed by Committees or Sections. Skilled speakers and readers of a foreign language may also volunteer to be part of a language bank. This bank is available to attorneys working on Pro Bono cases.

SC DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS- Problem Solvers
Volunteers will conduct research and assist the Departments staff attorneys on emerging issues that affect SC's consumer population. These issues include identity theft, mortgage fraud, debt collection, vehicle sales & service, credit problems. Another service opportunity includes interviewing consumers who have requested assistance from the Department.

SC IMMIGRANT VICTIM NETWORK
Volunteers will work as law clerks under the supervision of a staff attorney on a variety of cases ranging from immigration to other federal and state court issues. Competence in speaking, reading and writing Spanish not required but highly recommended.

SC OFFICE OF INDIGENT DEFENSE- APPELLATE DIVISION
The Appellate Division represents indigent criminal defendants who seek appellate review of their convictions from the Court of General Sessions. Student activities include research, field interviewing and legal drafting. This Office provides a unique opportunity to obtain hands on experience to those students interested in criminal law or post conviction relief.

SC PROBATE COURT-SPECIAL VISITORS PROJECT ( starting Fall, 2012)
This new project will involve trained volunteers working under the direct supervision of the Probate Judges in Richland and Greenville Counties to visit, observe and provide a report on guardianship and conservatorship cases in need of special attention.

SC VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS
Law students will screen online applicants who have arts related issues and refer them to either the Non Profit Law Clinic or the SC Bar Pro Bono Program for further assistance. In addition students will be able to conduct research on a wide variety of arts related legal issues, prepare answers to FAQ and assist with a new online arts and the law listserv

TEAM ADVOCACY
Team Advocacy is a project of Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P& A) Trained volunteers, working with staff from P & A, conduct unannounced inspections of SC community residential care facilities. During these inspections volunteers will interview residents seeking information about care, possible abuse and neglect or financial exploitation and available services. The Team report is filed with the appropriate authorities for follow up action. Volunteers can assist anywhere in SC.

US BANKRUPTCY COURT-VOLUNTEERS
Sponsored by SCLS, volunteers receive training in order to perform intake and answer basic questions about the bankruptcy process while under the direct supervision of an attorney.
Training: On the Job

VIRTUAL RESEARCH VOLUNTEERS (VRV)
To help address the backlog of questions posted to the SC Bar Pro Bono Program’s online Ask-A-Lawyer program VRV will research and draft responses. After review by an attorney, they will be posted. An excellent opportunity to hone your research skills using real life questions, gain experience based on actual client issues and work with a team finding solutions to the current issues confronted by those in need of legal guidance.
Training: On the Job

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service to help older, handicapped, non-English speaking or low income taxpayers who need assistance and for whom professional tax preparation may be out of reach. Volunteers prepare basic tax returns using online software. A tax coordinator is available to handle difficult questions or returns

Law Related Projects

BIG BROTHER/BIG SISTER
With an orientation, training course and a willingness to help, a volunteer can make a difference in young person's life. Opportunities are available on a particular site ( one hr. a week) or community based (4-6 hrs. a month with one child)
Training: Orientation, training and application

FREE MEDICAL CLINIC
Volunteers will assist with administrative duties such as interviewing new patients, gathering financial information, preparing new files, and converting patient charts to a new system. Spanish translators are also needed. If you are a medical doctor, nurse or pharmacist there are opportunities to fit those skills. In the future there will be special projects with this organizations that provides health care to low-income clients with no medical insurance.
Training: 1 hour orientation and application; volunteers are asked to select a regular time and date to serve.

GOOD DEED FRIDAY
Over the course of the semester a variety of service projects are developed. Typically they are limited in scope, number of volunteers needed and time. In addition they are usually conducted on Friday afternoons.
Training: On the job.

HARVEST HOPE FOOD BANK
Volunteer law students may assist in two manners; one is in a variety of positions with the semi- annual food drives and another can be as a regular volunteer at the Food Bank. Regular volunteers may include a range of tasks from sorting food or packing bags to assisting with data entry or helping Hispanic clients.
Training: On the job.

LOGAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TUTORING
Law students tutor one hour a week with a local elementary school whose students are in serious need of educational assistance This time makes all the difference in test scores and competence. Tutoring is usually in reading but math and other subjects may be needed. Logan Elementary School is convenient to the Law School.
Training: None, application and criminal record check

How Can You Help Today? You have Choices!

To volunteer with any project submit a Volunteer Enrollment Form, or
Come by the Office Room 233, or
Contact any Pro Bono Board member, find the list on the web page

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