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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THE PROFOUND IMPACT OF THE LIFE OF MARTHA BROWNING DICUS UPON THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND UPON THE COUNTLESS LIVES TOUCHED BY HER EXUBERANCE AND JOIE DE VIVRE.
Whereas, the members of the South Carolina General Assembly are pleased to remember the life and legacy of Martha Browning Dicus upon the anniversary celebration of her birthday; and
Whereas, born on July 18, 1949, in Portsmouth, Virginia, she was the oldest child of Colonel William A. Dicus, Jr., and Dorothy "Dot" M. Liles Dicus; and
Whereas, during her formative years, Martha moved with her family often throughout her father's career in the United States Marine Corps, and she graduated from high school in Fairfax, Virginia, before earning a bachelor's in religion from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina; and
Whereas, Ms. Dicus first served as a social worker and then decided to study law at the University of South Carolina, where she received a juris doctor degree in December of 1978; and
Whereas, she continued her lifelong commitment to help those in need when she joined the Richland County Public Defender's Office in Columbia. In 1981, an opportunity to work with Native Americans led her to Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation in 1981; and
Whereas, returning to South Carolina in 1982 with a great love of the American West and a deeper appreciation of her love for South Carolina, she began serving with the Neighborhood Legal Services program, opening the Walterboro office in rural Colleton County; and
Whereas, in 1984, Ms. Dicus transferred to the Lexington office of Palmetto Legal Services, and in 1987, she became the managing attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project on St. Helena's Island; and
Whereas, she left St. Helena to serve as the attorney counselor for public interest at Yale Law School where she lent her considerable expertise, encouraging and mentoring students to pursue public-service and public-interest legal careers; and
Whereas, when she returned home to South Carolina from her service at Yale, she served as a senior staff attorney in the Charleston County Public Defender's Office, where she carried out her duties with infectious exuberance and enthusiasm for sixteen years until her untimely death; and
Whereas, a leader in the field of restorative justice, Martha Dicus was chosen as a Harvard Law School Wassertein Fellow in 1992. She was also honored with the South Carolina Bar's Legal Services Lawyer of the Year Award, the Meredith College Distinguished Alumna Award, and the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association's Jean Galloway Bissell Award; and
Whereas, the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina are grateful for the significant legacy of caring for those in need and the professional impact on public interest law that Martha Browning Dicus has left for those who knew and loved her. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, recognize and honor the profound impact of the life of Martha Browning Dicus upon the legal profession and upon the countless lives touched by her exuberance and joie de vivre.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Charleston County Public Defender's Office.
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