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Charleston School of Law students partner with organizations to help end housing and eviction crisis

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 6:25 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 11:55 PM EST

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Students with the Charleston School of Law have partnered with local organizations to provide free legal aid to people facing evictions and affordable housing.

On Friday, they joined 99 other law schools across the country to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice to expand their services and help even more people.

More than 10,000 people in South Carolina faced evictions since March of 2020, according to Eviction Lab.

It’s an issue professionals say is hitting North Charleston at an alarming rate which is why students at the Charleston School of Law are working with One80 Place and Charleston Pro Bono Services to help fix the issue.

The Dean of the Charleston School of Law, Larry Cunningham, said even before the pandemic, people in the state were losing their homes and were unable to afford rent. Since then, Cunningham said the problem has gotten worse.

As a nationwide mission, law students, while under supervision of licensed attorneys, have been volunteering their time representing clients facing housing issues.

Students have been involved in meeting with clients, going over documents, brainstorming options, litigating and appearing in court.

Cunningham said it comes at no charge to tenants.

“It’s both a way for law students to help people who need legal services, and at the same time, it’s also an educational opportunity because students are getting feedback from our alumni that are appearing with them in court,” said Cunningham.

The Charleston School of Law students were have been offering these free legal services for years, but during the pandemic, the demand grew.

Charleston Pro Bono Services said with the help of these law students, it allows them to reach even more tenants and make a bigger impact in the Lowcountry.

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