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The SC Bar honored J. Scott Bischoff II as the 2016 Pro Bono Award winner for his outstanding commitment to enhancing the lives of others by volunteering legal services to South Carolina’s homeless community. The award was presented on May 18 at the House of Delegates meeting in Pinopolis.
Since his time as a law student at the Charleston School of Law in 2006, Bischoff has volunteered with Charleston’s One80 Place serving the shelter’s homeless clients through legal assistance. As a law student he helped with legal clinics, and when he returned to Charleston in 2012 as an attorney, he provided pro bono legal representation to numerous homeless clients through the shelter’s Homeless Justice Project. Over the past five years, he has provided consultation to One80 Place staff members on criminal matters and offered free legal seminars and one-on-one discussions for residents of the shelter.
“It is impossible for me to estimate how many cases Scott has assisted us with, either directly or through consultation. However, I can say that without a doubt his work has made a difference in all the lives he has come in contact with,” said Jeff Yungman, Director of the One80 Place Homeless Justice Project. “Through Scott’s efforts many individuals who were homeless are now safely off the streets and living in a stable housing environment.”
Bischoff has also dedicated his time to advancing and protecting the legal interests of the homeless community through his service on the Charleston Homeless Court Implementation Committee. He was instrumental in the approval of the Homeless Court by the S.C. Supreme Court and now serves as a volunteer attorney of the court, which hosted its first session in March.
“He is truly changing lives,” said Abigail E. Saunders, an attorney volunteer at One80 Place. “Homeless individuals who have almost given up on any way out of their homelessness now have hope and a brighter future because of Scott Bischoff.”
The SC Bar Pro Bono Award is presented annually to a lawyer who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for low-income residents of South Carolina. These services ensure that representation is provided to individuals and families in need of free civil legal assistance.
About the South Carolina Bar:
The SC Bar, which has a membership of more than 16,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.