Posted in: Lawyers › Pro Bono Program, Pro Bono
Celebrate Pro Bono Week is here, and the South Carolina Bar is honoring the countless hours of pro bono work performed by dedicated lawyers each year! To recognize the legal community's commitment to providing pro bono services, Governor Henry McMaster declared October 25-29 as Celebrate Pro Bono Week in the state of South Carolina.
Every October since 2009, legal organizations across the country participate in the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service's National Celebration of Pro Bono. The committee launched the National Celebration of Pro Bono because of the increasing need for pro bono services during harsh economic times and the unprecedented response of attorneys to meet this demand.
"When we join the legal profession, we take an oath to ‘assist the defenseless or oppressed by ensuring that justice is available to all citizens,’" says Jack Cohoon of Burnette Shutt McDaniel. "I find that accepting pro bono referrals and contributing answers to the Bar's Free Legal Answers website are meaningful ways to live out this promise and remind me why I became a lawyer in the first place."
There are so many ways for Bar members to get involved in pro bono work. Members have the option to take cases, answer questions through the Free Legal Answers portal or make a monetary contribution to one of the Bar's partner organizations.
Rebecca Wray of the S.C. Department of Social Services chooses to volunteer her time through the Free Legal Answers portal.
"I enjoy providing pro bono services through the Free Legal Answers portal," Wray says. "It allows me to answer questions anonymously, on my time and in my practice area, where I feel comfortable that my advice is accurate. Many people that need pro bono help just need a place to start, and it's such an easy way to provide that help."
Many of the Bar's partner organizations deliver critical legal services to those South Carolinians most in need and are always seeking volunteers. Accepting pro bono cases not only helps fill gaps in the community but also feeds the spirit. Russell DeMott of DeMott Law Firm explains the benefit of pro bono legal services.
"Taking pro bono cases allows me to use my skills to help those who have no means of helping themselves," says DeMott. "It's a way to give to others in an active way, rather than simply writing a check."
If you're interested in getting involved in pro bono work but don't know where to start, consider looking at our pro bono web page for ways to volunteer. Sign up here or contact Betsy Goodale at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer today.