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NEWSLETTER / October 2017

South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) is a non-profit law firm.  We provide free legal services in a wide variety of civil (non-criminal) legal matters to eligible low income residents of South Carolina.  Our mission is to provide legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low income South Carolinians.

 

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“ALIVE BY THE GRACE OF GOD” 

By the time she was able to verbally communicate again, Lauren had been in the hospital for over a week.  The doctor told her she was alive only by the grace of God. Her jaw was broken on both sides.  It had been wired shut.  Phil wasn’t there.  He hadn’t been there since he dropped her off in the early morning on August 17, 2016.  Finally, Lauren was able to tell the medical staff.  Her injuries weren’t a result of a car wreck.  She was severely beaten, choked and nearly killed by her husband.

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RISING TO THE OCCASION

In a year that seems particularly afflicted by natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, it’s a good time to recall the importance of South Carolina Legal Services in responding to one of the worst disasters in our state’s history. In October 2015, South Carolina faced a 1,000-year flood which inundated much of the state. As the waters receded, South Carolina Legal Services rose to the occasion.

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Voices for Civil Justice conducted a study into the public opinion on the state of legal aid and access to the civil legal justice. In the next few months, we will be sharing some of those findings with you.

79%

…are in favor of simplifying court processes by reducing the number of hearings, documents and steps involved.

71%

…are in favor of providing translator and other services to those who have difficulty conducting official business in English.

Building a Civil Justice System that Delivers Justice for All (Voices for Civil Justice, Public Welfare Foundation, Summer 2017)

 

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Law Day big hit with area Boy Scouts

South Carolina Legal Services recently sponsored Law Day for Scouts, an event to help boy scouts earn their law merit badge. Seventy five scouts of diverse backgrounds, from as far away as Camden, Summerville, and Florence, joined together for a full day to learn about the legal system. About one-third of the participating scouts were from troops in low income areas.  Thanks to contributions from attorneys and law firms, they could participate at no cost.

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#PurpleThursday

 

On Thursday, October 19th, our staff around the state wore purple to raise awareness about domestic violence and to show support for and solidarity with the survivors.  Domestic violence remains a pressing issue in South Carolina, and domestic violence cases make up a large portion of the cases we handle at South Carolina Legal Services. 

 

 

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Hope and Legal Help for Victims of Crime

South Carolina Legal Services was again awarded a significant grant by the SC Attorney General’s Office under the Victims of Crimes Act Program (VOCA) for the 2017-2018 grant year.  Under VOCA, we can represent victims of crime in civil legal matters related to the crime or its aftermath.  A “crime victim” is defined as a person who has suffered physical, sexual, financial, or emotional harm as a result of the commission of a crime.  Victims of elder abuse also may be represented.  Elder abuse is defined as the mistreatment of older persons through physical, sexual, or psychological violence, neglect, or economic exploitation and fraud. 

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SCLS Statewide Conference and Training 2017

The week of October 9th, our staff came down to Myrtle Beach for South Carolina Legal Services’ annual conference and training.  Everyone had a chance to catch up, participate in team-building exercises and attend a number of informative training sessions.

 

This year, the attorneys were able to earn 7.5 hours of CLE credits.  They, along with support staff and administration, enjoyed learning sessions on a wide variety of topics.   

 

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SOUTH CAROLINA LEGAL SERVICES

2109 Bull Street

Columbia, SC 29201

888.799.9668

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