Who we are

SC Appleseed fights for low income South Carolinians to overcome social, economic and legal injustice.


At the intersection of SC communities, the statehouse and the courthouse. 

Although South Carolina Appleseed existed in one form or another for many years, starting as a subsidiary of South Carolina Legal Services, it came into its own in 1996. When Congress cut funding and placed restrictions on the types of work that the organization could do, the organization split from the Legal Services Corporation. Our Director started doing business space donated by the Pro Bono Program at the University of South Carolina. The South Carolina Bar Foundation, led by the late Joseph Shine, showed a commitment to systemic advocacy for the low income community by increasing funding to the organization. In 1998, we began an affiliation with the Appleseed Foundation and officially became the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center.

Today, from those humble beginnings, we have an office in downtown Columbia and a staff that includes attorneys, outreach workers, and community organizers, alongside other support and admin staff. Our goal is to influence policymakers to ensure the law is fair, to educate the public and their advocates about the law, and to assist attorneys in bringing systemic litigation where the law is unfair.


Information & Education


SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center wants to share information on legal topics which affect those we serve – the disadvantaged. We have authored a number of pamphlets, bulletins, brochures, papers and manuals on topics which include housing, education, immigration, consumer affairs, public benefits, health and family, with many translated into Spanish. All printed materials are online for consumer and professional use. In addition, we have policy papers designed for legal professionals on SC laws and state policies.

We also offer continuing educational training for legal professionals and members of the community, who seek to update their knowledge on SC law in areas we advocate.

Our Team

Sue Berkowitz

Dione Brabham MSW
Field Organizer

Tammy Besherse
Director of Immigration Policy

Christine Burke
Immigration Policy
Community Organizer

Brandon Fountain
Development Director

Ana Garcia
Immigration Policy
Community Organizer

Lauren Knottek LMSW
Health Advocate & Outreach

Heather Shealey
Office Manager

Stephen Suggs
Deputy Director

Ashley Thomas
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Board of Directors