Our Team

Charleston Pro Bono is Comprised of a Dedicated Team of Public Servants.

We provide critical legal services in most civil law cases. In addition to the core staff featured here, our office works closely with many attorneys in the private bar who support our mission by participating in outreach programs, volunteering with the Housing Court Program, and accepting cases for direct representation.
Audrey R. Brown
Staff Attorney
Audrey comes to us following 7 years of private practice with her own law firm. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Berea College, a Paralegal Certificate from Villanova University, and a Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law.

Prior to law school, she worked as a paralegal in real estate closings, wills and trusts, and estate probate. As an attorney she has handled a variety of civil legal matters, focusing primarily on family law, simple estate planning, and estate probate cases.

In law school Audrey spent a summer working for Pro Bono Legal Services of Northern Virginia, and was the Intake Initiative Program Coordinator for the law school’s pro bono intake program, where law students assisted Pro Bono Legal Services of Northern Virginia in conducting their client intakes. Throughout her attorney career Audrey has volunteered with various pro bono wills clinics offered by area organizations.

Audrey is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association, the South Carolina Women Lawyer’s Association, and the South Carolina Bar Family Law Section. When she is not practicing law, she enjoys volunteering in the MUSC special care nurseries, coaching middle school mock trial, and spending time with her husband and cat, and when he will indulge them, her teenage stepson.

Bar Admissions: South Carolina State Court, 2012; U.S District Court, District of South Carolina, 2019; Maine State Court, 2019

Meredith Cesnek
Legal Assistant

Meredith joined Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services in May 2024 as Housing Legal Assistant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History at Fordham University Rose Hill in December 2024. 

Throughout her higher education, she spent much time volunteering in the Bronx and Boston communities. Whether that be setting up food and clothing drives, raising money for foundations like Relay for Life, or even coaching kids how to play basketball. This love of helping others is why Meredith is so excited to be helping the community of her new home here in Charleston. 

Before joining the team, Meredith travelled around Europe, and she attributes her personable skills and cultural interests to the time she spent living abroad. In her free time you can always find her listening to new music or researching preservation in some of her favorite cities!
Amanda Chkir
Staff Attorney

Amanda joined Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services as a Staff Attorney in 2024. Before law school, she studied social work at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts in French with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Southern California. During her undergraduate career, she spent a year in Paris where she was a student at La Sorbonne.

She obtained her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law, where she began her career in public interest as an Equal Justice America Fellow at Legal Services of South Central Michigan.There, she represented tenants facing eviction through the Eviction Diversion Program.

Amanda is honored to be a part of Housing Court and is a passionate advocate for her clients.

Bar Admissions: South Carolina State Court (2021).
Sydney Ford
Development Director

Sydney Ford is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Public Relations, and a graduate of the Emory University School of Law where she obtained her juris doctorate degree and was a Kessler-Eidson Scholar. 

She received the Graduating Woman of Excellence award and the Pro Bono Publico Medal. Prior to working at Charleston Pro Bono, she was an Assistant Public Defender in the juvenile division of the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office and in the Augusta Public Defender’s Office. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Charleston School of Law, where she teaches Trauma-Informed Legal Advocacy. Sydney was a TedX: Charleston speaker, and has given keynote addresses on trauma-informed law and grief in the justice system across the Southeast. Sydney has published several legal articles on reform in the juvenile justice system. She has also testified for the South Carolina Joint Committee on Children about getting grief resources for children into South Carolina schools. Admissions: Georgia, 2019 and Florida, 2021.

Alissa C. Lietzow
Executive Director
Alissa became Executive Director of Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services in January 2016. She is a 2007 magna cum laude graduate of the College of Charleston and a 2010 cum laude graduate of the Charleston School of Law.

Prior to joining Pro Bono Legal Services, Alissa worked for the Stuckey Law Offices for ten years with a primary focus on civil rights litigation.

While at the Charleston School of Law, whose motto is pro bono populi, she performed 145 hours of pro bono legal work and also implemented a Street Law program for students at a nearby Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, as a Past President for the Rotary Club of Charleston, she strives to exemplify Rotary’s motto of “service above self” by giving back to the local community through numerous projects.

Alissa is a 2015 graduate of the South Carolina Bar’s Leadership Academy, which serves to provide high quality leadership education to members in order to enable them to become effective leaders in the community and to serve as role models in matters of ethics and professionalism. Currently, Alissa serves on the Executive Committee for the James L. Petigru Inn of Court, a prestigious legal organization designed to foster relationships among its members and the legal community. Membership is by invitation only and based on demonstrated leadership, professionalism, and public service.

Bar Admissions: Supreme Court of the United States, 2014; Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2012; U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, 2010; South Carolina State Court, 2010

Marissa Liggins
Legal Assistant

Marissa is a dedicated legal professional who joined the CPBLS team in April 2024 as a Family Law Legal Assistant. Her passion for law, justice, and politics is evident through her diverse experiences and significant achievements.

Marissa graduated from the University of South Carolina-Columbia in December 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, along with a minor in Political Science.

Driven by a deep commitment to research and advocacy, Marissa embarked on three undergraduate research fellowships, contributing to projects addressing crucial societal issues and ensuring equitable access to legal justice. Remarkable among these projects was her work with adolescent youth in alternative schools in low-income communities, undergraduate publication, and involvement in The American School Shooting Study (TASSS) funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which contributed to valuable national policy advisement.

Outside academia and research, Marissa actively engaged in extracurricular activities and community service, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact in her community. Notably, some of her favorite experiences were competing on the USC Mock Trial Team, her role as a Judicial Advocate of the Constitutional Council, and her service in the 113th Student Senate as an elected official. Marissa is immensely excited to join Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services to aid in bridging the justice gap and serving the Lowcountry.

Mary Margaret McConnell
Housing Court Legal Assistant

Mary Margaret joined Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services in October of 2023 as a Housing Court Legal Assistant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Furman University in May 2022.

Before joining the team, Mary Margaret was living in Spain and teaching English to high school students. She has previous legal experience working for a private practice attorney in her hometown of Elberton, Georgia. 

Mary Margaret is very excited to join Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services and looks forward to facilitating equal access to justice for low income people in the Charleston community.

Anne L. Ross
Of Counsel
Anne joined the team in September 2021 as a staff attorney focusing on helping survivors of human trafficking and victim rights. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Furman University and of the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Anne also has an LL.M. in Agricultural & Food Law from the University of Arkansas, where her thesis addressed U.S. and European laws governing the use and regulation of endocrine disrupting pesticides. Prior to joining Pro Bono, Anne worked as the Director of International Policy for the Cornucopia Institute, a national consumer education and watchdog organization working to uphold the integrity of organic food supply chains. Anne’s extensive research and travels to Eastern Europe investigating fraud in global supply chains has been internationally recognized and contributed to proposals to reform federal regulations governing imported organic food. She has frequently lectured and lead trainings on fraud detection in complex supply chains. Before pursuing her LL.M., Anne worked as a litigator for  Haynsworth, Sinkler, Boyd and Nexsen Pruet where she primarily focused on business litigation and appeals. Anne is a former law clerk for retired South Carolina Supreme Court Justice, E.C. Burnett III. When she isn’t practicing law, Anne enjoys running, playing tennis and spending time at the beach with family and friends.

Bar Admissions: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; US District Court, District of South Carolina; South Carolina State Court.

Natalie M. Sorrem
Housing Court Coordinator
Natalie started her journey here as a volunteer assisting with client applications, marketing, and fundraising initiatives. She officially joined us in March of 2022 as a legal assistant and in October 2022 took over as Housing Court Coordinator.

She currently helps coordinate the Charleston County Housing Court Program.

Natalie is a native Minnesotan, but came to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston. She graduated in 2022 with a dual degree in Marine Biology and Geology. In the future, she plans to attend law school.

In her free time, Natalie enjoys crushing it on the volleyball court.

Elizabeth R. Stribling
Director of Education and Outreach
Elizabeth joined the team in October after over a decade as an English teacher. She taught 7th, 8th, and 12th grade at the Porter Gaud School as well as Academic Writing at the College of Charleston as an adjunct professor.

She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of South Carolina and a Masters in English from the College of Charleston.

In 2017, after reading the Post and Courier article “‘Til Death do Us Part” about rampant domestic violence in South Carolina and the lack of resources available, Elizabeth founded the Undergarment Society. The organization provides new bras and underwear to girls and women escaping domestic violence, homelessness, and other unsafe conditions. To date, the organization has donated over 10,000 new undergarments and partnered with over a dozen nonprofits that serve the Lowcountry’s most vulnerable.

>Elizabeth has also worked towards a more equitable South Carolina in her role as a Research and Special Projects coordinator for SC Women in Leadership by encouraging women to seek elected office. Isla and Julianne, Elizabeth’s two daughters, inspire her to work for a more just society.

Mary C. Templeton
Equal Justice Works Housing Fellow
Mary joined the team in August 2022. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston with degrees in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Mary earned her Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law.

While in law school, Mary participated in both the Children’s Advocacy Clinic and the Innocence and Justice Clinic.

Additionally, Mary had an article published in the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy advocating for a ban on child marriages in North Carolina. Prior to joining our team, Mary worked as an attorney on child abuse and neglect cases with the South Carolina Department of Social Services in Charleston County.

Mary is a member of the South Carolina Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, where she is a co-chair of the Families Forever Committee. In Mary’s free time, you can find her at the beach with a book or spending time with her cat.

Admissions: South Carolina State Court, 2021

Cody A. Tettemer
Staff Attorney
Cody joined us in June 2020 as an Associate Attorney handling COVID-19 related cases in Charleston County. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from West Chester University of PA and a Juris Doctor from Charleston School of Law.
Prior to law school, he worked as a paralegal in a general practice law office. While in law school at the Charleston School of Law, Cody’s major areas of study were property law and environmental law. As a participant of the Judicial Observation and Experience (JOE) Program he observed the Honorable Jan B. Bromell Holmes of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. Additionally, Cody interned at Southern Current throughout the duration of his time in law school.

Cody is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association. In his free time you can find Cody walking his dog or with his nose in a book about history and politics. Bar Admissions: South Carolina State Court, 2019