The University of South Carolina School of Law believes it is important to foster the ethic of professional obligation to provide service to the public, especially those who cannot afford legal help or who are unrepresented. The Pro Bono Program works to connect the knowledge to the real world and for over 30 years, our law students have been actively involved in a variety of activities in service to the community.
[Pam Robinson] The USC School of Law Pro Bono program is the first voluntary pro bono program in the country. From day one, it has always been student-centered. The paradigm isn’t what the community needs. We know that the community needs a lot. But the paradigm is always what do you the student want to get out of your pro bono experience? And then we know that the beneficiaries will be the community.
The projects range from very simply doing some research, doing some data entry on forms that are generated at a homeless legal clinic, or all the way up to being a guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children. As to actual skills, listening skills, research skills, professionalism, problem solving. We do a lot of projects that involve teams of students working on solving a problem.
[Clarissa Guerrero] Law school is important, but so is building yourself and molding yourself. And you can do this through the help of the community, through the help of pro bono, through the support of the law school. I think that I really learned compassion, empathy, and how to be a better advocate.