Category Archives: Administrivia

Lessons learned… so far

Existing under a stay at home order has been an opportunity to learn a few things, some good, some not so great!  Here is my list and I urge you to make your own.  Just the process of thinking about this can reduce some of that pent up frustration

  • I thought I loved a laptop computer but I really miss my desktop one!
  • Spam does not stop arriving in my Inbox
  • There is not much on TV in the middle of the day
  • People do wonderful things for others in an emergency
  • My cat really does sleep all day
  • Pro Bono is really personal and face to face
  • Being able to operate virtually is a virtue
  • My house has never been cleaner
  • The sound of a human voice ( not a TV one) is welcomed
  • Fed-ex trucks sound different than UPS
  • We were not prepared for a pandemic.

Most important observation- greatly miss seeing, hearing, talking, having coffee, sharing lunch, complaining, laughing, encouraging you, our law students.

Pam and Stan (my new part time assistant)

How do you do pro bono virtually?

Pro bono engagement is often such a face to face activity that it can be difficult to accomplish much virtually, but…

we are trying!  With gloves, mask and  wipes at hand, I completed 12 Intakes using the Virtual VITA process. Imaging interviewing someone 6 feet away!  Not pretty but it worked. By the end of the day, our VITA team members will have the files and be preparing tax returns.  Yes, we may not be meeting clients face to face but we are providing a much needed service and real comfort to those who need their refunds the most,  And the good news? if the law student preparer is home in their pj’s in NC, they can still help.

We are also having volunteers serve as Virtual Law Clerks for a Virtual Blitz.  The lawyer chooses and copies a question posted on SC.FreeLegalAnswers.Org and sends to the student. A response is drafted, returned, reviewed and posted.  Not as much fun as a real blitz but it helps.

Right now staying busy is important. You have less time to be anxious about things you cannot change. Like the song says, ” Don’t Worry, Be Happy” or as I call it the hand-washing song!

On Wed. I will participate in a Webinar and hopes of learning of a way we can assist our elderly clients,  We miss doing wills for them or completing guardianship investigations,  Watch this space

A number of students have research, translation and updating projects in the works. Keep on trucking…

I assure you the Pro Bono Program is alive and well and here to help. I use Twitter to retweet ideas and options that might appeal, Follow us @USCLawProBono

If you have cabin fever and are feeling fine, take a look at the Harvest Hope Food Bank website. http://www.HarvestHope.Org and sign up for a volunteer slot. To keep social distancing in mind, they are doing curbside delivery of much needed food.

We are all in this together; we need each other and now more than ever is the time to stay calm, only worry about things you can control and have patience.  If petting a purring cat will help. let  me know Stan is here for you and I bet we could FaceTime.

The pictures tell the story

yesterday a hard working group of students represented the USC School of Law and the Pro Bono Program with great professionalism and skill.  Along with attorneys they drafted and responded to 99 questions posted by the public to the SC Bar online forum. It was not always easy to determine the issue or even the question but eventually a thoughtful response emerged.  The “group think” was amazing. We had answers!!! enjoy your colleagues at work!

Juvenile Justice Jeopardy seeking volunteers

United Way of the Midlands is recruiting volunteers for Juvenile Justice Jeopardy!

JJJ is a game– played with youth 12-18 years old that works towards fostering a better understanding of the justice system and legal rights, in addition to increasing positive interactions with law enforcement and peers.  JJJ will be focused in Richland County, and we are planning to begin the project in early 2020.

We are seeking approximately 15 JJJ Leaders that would attend training in early February (either 2/7 or 2/8 9-11 a.m.) to learn how to lead the activity and commit to serving as a Game Leader for at least three 90-minute sessions during the next year. The sessions would be scheduled by United Way so the Game Leader’s responsibility would be to lead the game and master the game questions (which are customized to our local and state laws relative to youth).

To recruit our Game Leaders, we can make brief presentations at large group settings like an office staff meeting and are hosting a couple of information sessions:

Interest session #1: Friday, January 10th 8:00 a.m. United Way of the Midlands 1818 Blanding Street in Columbia

Interest session #2: Tuesday, January 14th 4 p.m. United Way of the Midlands 1818 Blanding Street in Columbia

Click here to Sign up for a JJJ Game Leader Info Session here!