Best Volunteer Program

SC Bar gathers legal wizards to enlighten young minds

The Palmetto State’s bar association assembled 1,000+ volunteers, from law students to judges, to run its Mock Trial program for more than 2,200 middle school and high school students.

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The law affects everyone—daily and in innumerable ways. 

Legal disputes can range from quarrels over the right of way in a mall parking lot to U.S. Supreme Court cases determining people’s rights to vote or marry as they choose.

For a quarter-century, the South Carolina Bar has held its Mock Trial program, helping middle school and high school students gain knowledge about and firsthand insights into our legal system and its processes.

That doesn’t happen in a vacuum, however. Knowledgeable professionals donate their time, expertise, and patience to the program. How many? The association breaks it down:

Teacher coaches: 329
Administrator: 1
Volunteer scoring judges, presiding judges, and regional coordinators: 444
Attorney coaches: 213
School resource officers: 2
Law students and student volunteers: 40
Total: 1,029

It further submits that three Mock Trial competitions were held between Jan. 1, 2012, and April 5, 2013, and that more than 2,200 students benefited from those volunteers’ efforts.

That’s the evidence. 

The verdict: The South Carolina Bar is the winner for Best Volunteer Program in PR Daily’s 2013 Nonprofit PR Awards.

Those students who ultimately will not venture into the legal profession still gain self-confidence, public speaking skills, and debating skills, the association notes.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Cynthia Cothran and everyone involved in the Mock Trial program.

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