University of South Carolina

Continued: Pro Bono

“I didn’t want to join a bunch of lawyer programs,” he said. “Pam was very helpful. She was able to provide opportunities for those of us who wanted to do more than just go to school and study.”

Now a tax attorney in Charleston, Chandler worked with VITA as a law student. And the Spanish language skills he picked up from his Peace Corps tour came in handy in his dealings with the Hispanic population.

Today, he volunteers with crisis ministries and Habitat for Humanity. And he teaches a course on wills especially for Habitat beneficiaries, who are still learning the do’s and don’ts of home ownership.

“The best advice I got was to go participate in the community,” he said.

Cathy Cauthen (‘93) took a slightly different path to pro bono involvement. The program was still in its formative stages when she was in school, and the demands of course work and job pursuits kept her from learning of opportunities the Pro Bono Program offered.

Yet even without being directly involved in the program, Cauthen knew Robinson’s knack for finding a pro bono niche for her students. Now a real-estate counsel for Edens and Avant, Cauthen connected with Robinson recently to explore community-service options.

“She has such a great reputation in the community – not just in law school but as a volunteer in helping groups out,” said Cauthen, adding that she would like to work with first-time juvenile offenders. “I didn’t realize at the time how valuable an experience it would have been. Looking back, it is something that everyone should take advantage of.”

Looking ahead to a second 20 years, Robinson said some of her goals include increasing the program’s visibility, developing partnerships with the School of Medicine, and integrating the program more into the curriculum.

“If we’re not growing, we’re stagnant,” she said. “And we want to keep growing. So we’re always looking for ways to do that.”

By Office of Media Relations

Story Continues:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4PrintEmail
Posted: 02/23/11 @ 3:45 PM | Updated: 02/23/11 @ 4:44 PM | Permalink

Pro Bono Program

  • What: School of Law's celebrated student organization of voluneerism
  • Who: Pam Robinson founded and directs the program more than 20 years ago and still directs the 28 students now involved

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