University of South Carolina

Carolina Clerks is a pro-bono bonus

Contact: Peggy Binette 803-777-5400 peggy@mailbox.sc.edu

A new program at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law pairs law students with attorneys working on pro bono cases, reinforcing the school’s culture of service and professionalism.

Called “Carolina Clerks: Pro Bono Clerks for Pro Bono Lawyers,” the program provides second- and third-year law students valuable legal experience and also lends support to attorneys who volunteer their services to help clients unable to pay for services.

Law School Dean Robert Wilcox said Carolina Clerks brings an important dimension to students’ legal education.

“When members of the public cannot afford the legal services they need, lawyers often step forward and offer their time for free,” Wilcox said. “Carolina Clerks not only helps those lawyers help their clients, but it instills in our students an understanding of the importance of including voluntary service as a part of their professional lives.”

Carolina Clerks will assist on research and in drafting documents. Students will not receive payment or course credit for their work and can do research only on pro bono cases.

“Public confidence in the legal system depends upon our having a system to which everyone has access, regardless of their ability to pay,” Wilcox said. “Although our students are not yet licensed to provide legal services directly, they gain valuable insight into the practice of law while serving as clerks, and they provide an important service to the state.”

Carolina Clerks is part of USC law’s highly respected Pro Bono Program which, in addition to providing legal support services for numerous organizations, also includes general volunteer activities, such as sorting food at Harvest Hope Food Bank and tutoring students at Logan Elementary School.

Pamela Robinson, director of the school’s Pro Bono Program, which celebrated 20 years earlier this year, says Carolina Clerks expands the program’s offerings and deepens its commitment to making a difference.

“Carolina Clerks meshes nicely with existing goals of the Pro Bono Program and builds on a service we have offered for more than 20 years,” Robinson said. “Our law students are already signing up and are excited about the opportunity to serve our community and gain first-hand experiences. In no time at all, the volunteer law clerks of today will be the next generation of pro bono lawyers.”

South Carolina lawyers interested in working with law students in the Carolina Clerks program should contact Robinson at 803-777-3405 or via email at robinspd@law.sc.edu. For more information about Carolina Clerks and the School of Law Pro Bono Program visit the website: http://law.sc.edu/pro_bono/

 

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Posted: 08/18/11 @ 4:25 PM | Updated: 10/13/11 @ 1:38 PM | Permalink