We're so glad you asked! Lowcountry Legal Volunteers is a non-profit organization providing free, critical legal services and education to low income residents of Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton counties through community volunteers and retired lawyers. We provide legal advice, advocacy, and education with care, compassion, and competency. LLV is the only volunteer based legal services organization in the region.
LLV serves only those with financial need and we focus our services on cases involving vulnerable people facing immediate risk to their physical and psychological well-being. Prospective clients are income qualified and must earn less than 125% of the federal poverty guideline and the legal issue for which they seek help must be within our scope of services.
Yep. We believe that nobody should be denied access to justice just because they can't afford to pay attorney fees. Although clients are expected to pay court filing fees.
Keri Olivetti founded Lowcountry Legal Volunteers in 1998 and we opened our doors to our first clients in 2000 with a generous grant from the Hilton Head Island Foundation. Back then, we were known as Lowcountry Legal Aid. We've gone through some name changes, but we've remained true to Keri's mission: offering free legal services to those who can least afford it.
Good question! We believe that unresolved legal issues can take significant emotional, psychological, and financial tolls on families and the communities in which they live. That's where we come in. Resolving problems and enforcing basic legal rights strengthens families, creates productive members of society, lessens the burden on the welfare system, and improves the community for us all. LLV does more than simply resolve individual legal problems; we work to address the larger societal issues that lie behind our clients' struggles. We believe that as we work to stabilize one family, we are also stabilizing the health and well-being of the entire community.
Lowcountry Legal Volunteers is funded entirely by locally funded grants and individual donations. We don't receive any federal or state funds. As a grassroots, volunteer-based organization, all donations are used to provide services to our clients. Last year, because of the generous donation of more than 3300 volunteer hours, we were able to provide approximately $600,000 worth of legal services on a $200,000 budget!
LLV provides tax-receipts for donations over $250. Please see the IRS website for more information on deductions for charitable donations.