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S.C. Bar recognizes 2012 Pro Bono Award recipients

January 20, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 18, 2012) — The S.C. Bar will bestow the 2012 Pro Bono Award upon Louis T. Runge Jr., Bradford T. Cunningham and members of Sowell, Gray, Stepp and Laffitte, LLC for their contributions to meeting the civil legal needs of citizens who cannot afford the services of an attorney. The recipients will be recognized at the Bar Foundation Gala on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Louis T. Runge Jr. (Tom), a shareholder at the firm of Ellis, Lawhorne and Sims, PA, serves as president of the board of directors of Trinity Housing Corporation. In this capacity, Tom aided in the securing and closing of loans and grants for renovation of the units and buildings of St. Lawrence Place, transitional housing for homeless families. Mr. Runge was also involved in the creation and operation of the S.C. Chapter of the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) Project. He is also a Home Works volunteer, providing both legal assistance and manual labor to the project.

Bradford T. Cunningham, attorney for the Town of Lexington, has been a pro bono volunteer since 2004, averaging six or more pro bono cases per year. As attorney for the Town of Lexington, he also accepts pro bono cases on a walk-in basis, drafting wills and powers of attorney and handling real estate and probate issues. Mr. Cunningham is also very active in the community, lending his time and talents to the S.C. Municipal Attorneys Association, International Municipal Attorneys Association, USC Alumni Association, Lexington Youth Football League and Kiwanis Club. He also broadcasts Lexington High School sports on 107.9 WLXM.

The firm of Sowell, Gray, Stepp and Laffitte, LLC provides pro bono services to the residents of Hannah House, a non-profit safe home in Columbia for women and children in transition. These services have included child custody, child support, criminal and driver’s license issues since law firm members “adopted” Hannah House in May 2009.

The S.C. Bar Pro Bono Award is presented annually to a lawyer(s) who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged. These services ensure that representation is provided to individuals and families in need of free civil legal assistance.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 14,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

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