Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 9 hours credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./H.R.M. (Juris Doctor/Master of Human Resource Management), J.D./I.M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of International Business Administration), J.D./M.C.J. (Juris Doctor/Master of Criminal Justice), J.D./M.E.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Environmental Science), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work), and J.D./M.T. (Juris Doctor/Master of Taxation).
The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, environmental law, labor law, litigation, tax law, business law, commercial law and bankruptcy, probate and estate planning, and real estate. In addition, there are several types of clinics, usually for 3 credits hours. Examples are Consumer Bankruptcy and Criminal Practice. Students gain closely supervised training experience in the representation of clients. A number of seminars are offered each semester, such as Death Penalty and Environmental Law. All have limited enrollment, require a paper to be written, and are for 3 credit hours. In the area of research programs, students may take the course Supervised Legal Research for 2 credit hours. It is an independent study performed under the supervision of a faculty member and requires a research paper. Many upper-level students clerk for law firms during the school year. A special lecture series is open to all students. First-year students are offered a tutorial program. A minority peer assistance tutorial program is also available. Special interest group programs include the Pro Bono Program, which provides opportunities for volunteer law students to obtain practical legal training. The most widely taken electives are litigation, business, and commercial law.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 46 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, Constitutional Law, Contracts I and II, Introduction to Legal Research and Lawyering, Introduction to Legal System and Legal Writing, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of a perspective course, a writing requirement, Criminal Process, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students is 1 day before the start of classes. Accepted students are also invited to a reception in the spring prior to the start of the first fall semester.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1505 applied, 484 were accepted, and 240 enrolled. Figuress in the above capsule and in this profile are approximate. Fifteen transfers enrolled in a recent year. The median GPA of the most recent first-year class was 3.38. The highest LSAT percentile was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include writing ability, GPA, and LSAT results. No specific undergraduate courses are required.
Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a nonrefundable application fee, 2 letters of recommendation, and use of the LSDAS, a personal statement, and dean’s certification. Notification of the admissions decision is from mid-December to May. Check with the school for current application deadlines. The law school uses the LSDAS.
In a recent year, about 85% of current law students received some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, was $12,000; maximum, $19,302. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statements are the FAFSA and the School of Law scholarship application. Check with the school for current application deadlines. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students are provided through the Minority Scholarship program and other law school sources. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 45% of the student body are women; 9%, minorities; 7%, African American; and 1%, Asian American. The majority of students come from South Carolina (82%). The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 21 to 57. About 33% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 8% have a graduate degree, and 45% 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.
The primary law review is the South Carolina Law Review; the other law reviews are ABA Real Property, Probate, and Trust Journal The Southeastern Environmental Law Journal, Law Education Journal, and Journal of International Law and Business. The student newspapers are the Student Bar Association Newsbrief and The Forum. The school sponsors teams in the National, International, American Bar Association, and Labor Law Moot Court competitions as well as the National Trial competitions. It also competes in the J. Woodrow Lewis Intramural Moot Court competition in appellate advocacy. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students, Women in Law, Phi Alpha Delta, Christian Legal Society, Phi Delta Phi, Society of International Law, Wig and Robe, and the Federalist Society.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is an 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.