ABA/YLD Service Project Committee
This committee is responsible for implementing the ABA YLD Service Project or Member Service Project as it is launched in August at the ABA Annual Meeting. Each year, the president-elect and incoming committee chairs will have the discretion to maintain the existing project, to supplement the existing project, or substitute the newly-launched project. The chosen project will be implemented throughout the year with a focus project during the Bar Convention. The YLD will partner with various community organizations to implement the determined project each year.
Backpack Drive Committee
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. Throughout the school year, 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.
Bar Foundation Committee
This committee assists and supports the South Carolina Bar Foundation by planning events, assisting with events planned by others, and supporting the grantees of the South Carolina Bar Foundation.
Community Law Week
Community Law Week is an annual event held in the beginning of May in conjunction with the nationally recognized Law Day. This week of service allows members of YLD to work together to promote the legal profession while at the same time serving the community. Committee members are tasked with selecting and coordinating service projects that will be implemented by the Circuit Representatives. Circuit Representatives will select at least one service project per circuit and recruit volunteers from the YLD members in their respective circuits to participate. Popular service projects include the SC Bar Ask-A-Lawyer Phone Bank, in which young lawyer volunteers assist the public with legal questions, and the University of South Carolina’s Cocky’s Reading Express, which allows young lawyers to join Cocky in reading to elementary aged children in an effort to promote childhood literacy.
The Cinderella Project, which will be in its 18th year during the 2018-2019 Bar year, 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.
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 Adoption™ 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.
iCivics is a non-partisan, web-based education project designed to teach students about civics and inspire them to be active participants and leaders in our democracy. Members of this committee assist with implementing this program throughout South Carolina. Activities for committee members include speakingat educator events to promote the use of iCivics in the classroom, collaborating in the planning and implementation of presentations for Constitution Day andiCivics Day, and collaborating in the planning, implementation and judging of an Instagram Scholarship competition. Constitution Day celebrates the passage of the U.S. Constitution through classroom presentations and the ReadIt! Campaign, wherein pocket Constitutions are distributed to encourage people to read the Constitution. iCivics Day is an annual statewide event in May that sends young lawyers into classrooms to discuss civics topics and promote the use of iCivics.org. The Instagram Scholarship competition gives students an opportunity to express themselves through video entries on Instagram explaining their position on a topic that is to be determined by the iCivics Committee each year.
Make A Wish Committee
While doctors treat the physical aspects of a disease, they cannot always treat the psychological impact the illness has on a child. This committee will support
the Make a Wish Foundation of South Carolina by providing funds and volunteers to serve the needs of South Carolinians battling various illnesses. Members of this committee have an opportunity to be part of granting a wish. Depending on the wish child, chosen by the Make a Wish Director of Program Services, committee members can help directly with the wish (i.e. painting for room redecoration) or by hosting a wish reveal or send-off party (themed party with pizza, cake, decorations and presents for travel wishes). The average cost of a wish is $7,500, and it is the goal of the YLD to provide one wish per year. Committee members create and implement fundraising events for Make A Wish, including recruiting participation in the Trailblaze Challenge, in raising money by running the Cooper River Bridge Run, hosting a golf tournament and hosting a Spin-a-Thon.
Protecting Our Youth Through Legal Education
The purpose of this committee is to educate 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.
The Young Lawyer Division supports Special Olympics of South Carolina (SOSC) by providing volunteers to serve the needs of South Carolinians with intellectual disabilities and by purchasing tickets and participating in SOSC fundraising events. Members of this committee are responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers and encouraging participation at SOSC events throughout the state. The committee members have even created additional ways to interact with SOSC athletes for some friendly competition. The events associated with this committee vary from volunteering at the Fall and Summer Games, Track and Field Day, Bocce Tournaments, Torch Runs and Annual Galas and provide opportunities for young lawyers to serve a worthy organization while interacting with one another.
The Bridge Project
The purpose of this new committee is to support and promote the federal drug court program (bridge). We will focus on increasing young lawyer participation in mentorship opportunities with the program participants, as well as facilitating additional ways that YLD members can assist with the growth and development of the program. We will develop opportunities for the members and mentors to interact, training for the mentors, and may work with other committees to provide resources to the program participants.
The Color of Justice Committee
Color of Justice is an outreach program that was established by the National Association of Women Judges to foster diversity in the legal profession and judiciary. The YLD Color of Justice Committee adopted this program and works to introduce middle and high school minority students to the field of law through a presentation that includes a panel discussion and breakout session with judges, attorneys, law professors and law students. In addition to reaching middle and high school students across the state, the COJ Committee implements a College Roadshow at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities in South Carolina. The purpose of the COJ HBCU Roadshow is to equip minority college students with the tools necessary to enter the legal profession, thereby increasing diversity within the legal profession. The committee and its volunteers will speak to the college students about the importance of three components—preparation, performance and practice. The preparation component will focus on what college students should do to prepare for law school and the LSAT. The performance component will address what they should expect and how to succeed in law school. The practice component will give students insight on what it means to practice law. This committee is looking for young lawyers who are enthusiastic and interested in promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
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 refurbishing 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 is always looking for new ideas and seeking new committee members to assist in furthering the goals of the program in combatting domestic violence.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
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 chair 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.
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 consult with first responders and homeowners 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.
YLD Military Support
This committee will identify and implement outreach programs to assist military service members and veterans. This committee may also provide education to young lawyers on issues that service members and veterans face and will seek opportunities to work with other groups within the SC Bar.