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South Carolina Pro Bono Legal Information, Resources and Assistance

South Carolina has not adopted the revision to Model Rule 6.1 approved by the ABA in 1993, calling for an aspirational standard of 50 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. The South Carolina version is the ABA's original Model Rule which states that a lawyer should render public interest legal service by providing professional services at no fee or reduced fee to persons of limited means or to public service.

South Carolina Pro Bono Summary: The South.Carolina. Supreme Court established the Access to Justice Commission in January 2007 in an effort expand access to civil legal representation for people of low income or modest means in South Carolina. South Carolina is the 27th state to establish an Access to Justice Commission. Legal Services in non-criminal matters for people who cannot afford a private lawyer are provided by the South Carolina Centers for Equal Justice. Some of the types of legal services which may be available include evictions, bankruptcies, health care problems, education, mortgage foreclosures, social security disability, employment problems, some limited divorce and custody matters and food stamp and welfare problems. In determining whether a person is eligible for legal aid, income, size of family and special financial needs are considered. The legal services are free to eligible low income people, but clients are asked to pay court costs if possible. To find out if eligible for assistance through the South Carolina Centers for Equal Justice, call the Legal Aid Telephone Intake Service (LATIS) at 803-744-9430 in Richland or Lexington counties or 1-888-346-5592 from other parts of the state.

South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) provides free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina. SCLS is a non-profit corporation, funded by grants from the federally funded Legal Services Corporation and South Carolina Bar Foundation. Clients can call the statewide South Carolina Legal Services Intake Office at 1-888-346-5592 (toll free) or 803-744-9430 (Columbia area). Spanish speaking applicants and hearing-impaired applicants, who have TTY capability, who wish to apply for legal services should also call the statewide telephone number at 1-888-346-5592. The intake line is alive from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, Monday through Thursday.

Pro Bono Awards:

The South Carolina Bar presents awards annually to individual lawyers, law firms and institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.

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