South Carolina Legal Services is celebrating 50 years of providing free civil legal aid this year.

SCLS is a statewide non-profit law firm that provides civil legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low-income South Carolinians.

SCLS’s work is embodied in its vision statement: “All low-income South Carolinians will have full and fair access to justice.”

Legal aid offices in South Carolina have provided free legal assistance and advocacy to help residents of the state obtain and maintain the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter, health care, safety and education.

SCLS’s celebration of its anniversary will culminate with a special event at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

A group of judges from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, Probate Court, Magistrate Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court will present a panel discussion entitled “Access to Justice – A Judge’s Perspective.”

Moderating the panel will be Jim Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C.

Following the panel discussion, S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and other guests will deliver greetings and remarks at a celebratory reception, which will be held at the Perrin Family Lobby at the law school.

For more information about the celebration or about SCLS, contact Andrea Loney, executive director, at andrealoney@sclegal.org.

For more information or to receive the assistance of South Carolina Legal Services, visit www.sclegal.org, www.lawhelp.org/sc to apply online or call toll free at 888-346-5592.

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