Class of 1996
Risk Management Director, SC Bar
“I knew I wasn’t going to be a contract lawyer. I knew that my focus was going to be more on public interest and policy work.” “My volunteer work while a student with the Pro Bono Program solidified that track,” said Jill Rothstein. Since graduating from law school Jill has pursued a public interest career that has included representing guardians ad litem with the Richland County CASA Program and as a prosecutor with Richland County Department of Social Services. She also had an opportunity to serve as the Public Services Director for the SC
“I have more blessings than I can count. So grateful for my happy children.”
Many evacuated survivors ended up in Columbia. Jill spent countless hours at the Armory answering questions from frightened strangers who were concerned about being in violation of their parole, did not know how to access to services, and could not understand the process to apply for help on the internet. Jill not only put her legal and problem solving skills to work but she helped to build a network of caring lawyers who took up the call to help. One of Jill’s motivations for engaging in pro bono work is “I feel compelled to lift others up whenever I can.” Hurricane Katrina was that opportunity.
One case while in law school left a lasting impression on Jill and her entire career. While serving as a volunteer guardian ad litem for an 18 month HIV infection baby she came face to face with AIDS and extreme poverty. For 3 years she was the guardian for the baby. “This was a family that only had one toothbrush for all the children. The baby died.” Years later Richland County CASA called Jill about retaking the case with the remaining two children; one was a 15 year old who was pregnant and had been sexually abused by her mom’s boyfriend. Jill lamented, “ This just shows how much work there is to be done and how the community responds to the needs of its own.” She was reminded, “I have more blessings than I can count. So grateful for my happy children.”
Jill served as President of the Pro Bono Board while in Law School and counts her many connections as a lasting legacy of the Program. “Now they all have different interests and connect. “That is a lovely aspect of Pro Bono that I never even thought about until this minute.”
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