After the first year, students may complete an externship with more than 100 options from public defender, to solicitor, to various judges. Damages, Trial Advocacy, and Advanced Appellate Advocacy seminars are offered. Internships are available through the Public Defender, Solicitor, and Heirs Property Project. Field work consists of externship placement and Historic Preservation Law. Research positions with faculty members and tutorial programs are available. Special lecture series consist of a professionalism series (3 of 6 required per semester). Minority programs are offered through the Office of Student Diversity and Mentoring.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 88 total credits, of which 63 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I and II, Contracts I and II, Legal Writing and Research I and II, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of a skills course, Advanced Writing Requirement, Constitutional Law, Insurance and Domestic Relations, Professional Responsibility, and Secured Transactions. All students must take clinical courses. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 2<1/2> days.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and 30 hours of documented pro bono work.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 879 applied, 382 were accepted, and 206 enrolled. Six transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 65; the median GPA was 3.18 on a scale of 4.0.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, general background, and commitment to public service. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 2 letters of recommendation, and Dean’s Certification. Notification of the admissions decision is December to August. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 70% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $30,000; maximum, $48,208. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and School Specific Scholarship Application. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include Student Success Initiative and school scholarships. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application after acceptance, and prior to enrollment.
About 47% of the student body are women; 10%, minorities; 8%, African American; 1%, Asian American; and 1%, Hispanic. The majority of students come from South Carolina (63%). The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 20 to 52. About 70% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 30% have a graduate degree, and 25% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 3% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 97% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Charleston Law Review, Federal Courts Law Review, and MALABU (Maritime Law Bulletin). Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include SBA, BLSA, Women in Law, Environmental Law Society, Real Estate Law, and International Law Society.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 84 months. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only and must be completed within 84 months. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7- weeks- 2 week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.