The purpose of this committee is to collect new backpacks and school supplies for donation to students, schools and charitable organizations in need throughout the state. Beginning in late July through mid-August, committee members coordinate donation drop-off locations at volunteering law firms and agencies, pick up and organize the donated supplies, and then distribute them to the recipients in need prior to the start of the school year.
See how to donate to the current supply drive
William H. Yarborough, Jr.
The Cinderella Project, which will be in its 17th year during 2017-2018, involves gathering donations of gently-worn formal gowns, shoes and accessories to benefit high school students across South Carolina. Students from area high schools are invited to attend a boutique held in the spring to “shop” for a dress and other accessories at no cost. Members of this committee coordinate with local boutiques, community organizations, other legal associations and law firms for collection of the dresses and solicitation of donations. Members will also organize the boutiques and assist the belles of the ball as they shop on the day of the boutique.
Renee Ballew, Statewide Chair
Mary Catherine Harbin, Anderson Coordinator
Lauren Acquaviva, Charleston Coordinator
Phylicia Coleman, Columbia Co-Coordinator
Hanna Lapp, Columbia Co-Coordinator
Ashley Bagwell, Greenville Co-Coordinator
Shelby C. Herbkersman, Greenville Co-Coordinator
Taylor Owens, Orangeburg Coordinator
The purpose of Community Law Week (CLW) is to promote the legal profession and provide the public with information about their legal rights. During CLW, each circuit plans and implements at least one service project to further that purpose such as participating in Cocky’s Reading Express, speakers in schools, DSS playroom refurbishing project, kids’ identification card project, lawsuits project, and others. The committee also has sought a resolution of the governor declaring the first week in May is “Community Law Week.” Cocky’s Reading Express is so popular with children and young lawyers alike that a large portion of this budget is typically used to purchase books to give to school children in connection with Cocky’s Reading Express. During CLW, YLD members visit thousands of students to promote literacy and the legal profession through the partnership with Cocky’s Reading Express. The budget request for CLW has been reduced because CLW, while doing many projects during the first week in May, often does projects that pull from other areas of the budget or are free of charge.
H. Lucius Laffitte, III
This committee focuses on educating the public and raising awareness about adoption and foster care in South Carolina and was recently recognized as an Angel in AdoptionTM by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) in Washington, D.C. Members of this committee participate in adoption awareness and education projects by coordinating and hosting Families Forever Fairs throughout the state, in partnership with adoption agencies, attorneys and other professionals.
Mary Lee Briggs
This committee will support the Make a Wish Foundation of South Carolina by providing sponsorships and volunteers to serve the needs of South Carolinians with battling various illnesses. Members of this committee will be responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers and encouraging participation at Make a Wish events throughout the state. In addition to an annual gala, these events vary from “wish” to “wish” and provide opportunities for young lawyers to serve a worthy organization while interacting with one another.
Mary Catherine Harbin
Henry D. McMaster, Jr.
Pro Bono & Community Outreach
The Pro Bono & Outreach Committee seeks to encourage and offer opportunities for young lawyers to provide pro bono legal services and outreach to the South Carolina community. The Committee collaborates with the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Board/Program, as well as the pro bono offices at the University of South Carolina School of Law and Charleston School of Law. The Committee supports and promotes community outreach by facilitating and encouraging young lawyer participation in mentorship, volunteer, and sponsorship opportunities provided through partnerships with community organizations and programs, such as the federal drug court program (Bridge) and the Special Olympics of South Carolina, that serve a vast and varied range of South Carolinians.
Jonathan “Jeb” Lewis
For the purpose of educating at-risk high school students on the consequences of their actions and choices, members of this committee organize programs typically in the form of panel discussions about various topics, including prosecuting students as adults, repeat offenders, new DUI laws and drug offenses. Programs are held throughout the state and conducted with assistance from the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice, Children’s Law Center, the Bar’s Children’s Law Committee and various other community organizations. Committee members are responsible for contacting the participating schools; planning the programs; coordinating with the partner organizations; recruiting lawyer, judicial and law enforcement volunteers to serve as panelists; and participating in and oftentimes moderating the programs.
Samantha Albrecht, Co-Chair
Voices Against Violence
Voices Against Violence (VAV) has the goals of educating young lawyers and the public about the epidemic of domestic violence and encouraging advocacy for domestic violence victims through legislative initiative, pro bono service and providing hands-on support to shelters and other programs aiding victims of domestic violence. VAV participates in shelter refurbishment projects, which include repainting, rebuilding, landscaping, and other needs. Each fall, VAV runs a necessities and toiletries drive, collecting donations to deliver to shelters throughout the state. The program has expanded to further its reach and impart support in areas that may have less local funding. VAV organizes and hosts a free or reduced-cost CLE program on domestic violence and, through this CLE, works to educate young lawyers to represent victims of domestic violence on a number of issues. Finally, VAV is expanding into new areas with plans to design, print and distribute informational materials and support a statewide initiative to bring dating and domestic violence education and prevention programs into high schools. VAV is always looking for new ideas and seeking new committee members to help further the goals of the program in combating domestic violence.
The purpose of this committee is to provide free tax preparation for South Carolina residents with annual total household income of $52,000 or less. Members of this committee receive training to prepare basic federal and state income tax returns in various communities throughout the state and assist the chairs with recruiting other lawyer volunteers to participate in the tax preparation “Super Saturdays.” The training will be sponsored and conducted by the Columbia Cooperative Ministry, the United Way of Greenville County or the Charleston Trident Urban League, which operate VITA sites.
Jeffrey K. Gurney
The Wellness Committee provides programming for young lawyers that promote mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being. The Wellness Committee strives to provide resources and tools to young lawyers that address work/life balance, stress management, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, physical health and well-being, and other quality of life issues. The YLD’s Wellness Committee also plans to collaborate with the Bar’s Wellness Committee to develop programs and events for the Living Above the Bar initiative.
The purpose of this committee is to provide free wills and estate planning documents for first response personnel and Habitat for Humanity homeowners. During the clinics, young lawyers will conduct an interview and consultation and draft wills and advance directives. First responders and homeowners will leave with fully-executed documents. Members of this committee will plan clinics throughout the state and recruit attorney volunteers. Young lawyer volunteers need no prior estate planning experience to take part. Guidelines, forms and training sessions are provided prior to clinics.
Erica K. McCrea, Esq.