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Public Defenders’ Offices

Law students provide research, monitor court proceedings and assist in case preparation with attorneys who represent SC’s indigent population in criminal matters. Volunteering may take place in the Richland or Lexington County offices.

Training: Research skills needed

Purpose of Pro Bono Opportunity

  • To provide opportunities for law students to work along side the attorneys and clients in the public defender system in SC
  • To provide skills development and enhancement opportunities for law students
  • To create an awareness of the problems and rewards of being a public defender
  • To observe the SC court system in action

Requirements or Qualifications

Law students must:

  • be in good academic standing
  • complete and submit the Volunteer Enrollment Form
  • have completed one year of law school
  • have an interest in serving the indigent population

Responsibilities of Organizations

The Public Defender’s Office must:

  • agree to properly supervise the work of the law student
  • provide clear and timely instructions
  • seek opportunities to expose the students to various tasks
  • provide feedback when possible.

Responsibilities of the Students

The students must:

  • communicate effectively and efficiently with the Public Defender’s office and the supervising attorney
  • complete tasks in a timely and competent manner
  • seek assistance when needed
  • perform duties professionally
  • treat this volunteer opportunity as if it was a paying or for-credit position

Skills Opportunities

The following Core Skills may be associated with this particular volunteer opportunity. Not all tasks will contain all of these skills. See the complete Core Competencies and Skills Inventory for more details.

  • Core Skill: Oral Communication and Listening AbilitiesCore Skill: Writing Skills
  • Core Skill: General Research Skills
  • Core Skill: Critical Reading Abilities
  • Core Skill: Task Organization and Management
  • Core Skills: Professionalism