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School of Law


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Message from the Dean

There has never been a more exciting time to be a law student at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

It is true, we are celebrating our 150th anniversary this year, but we are far from "old school." In fact, we are at the forefront of transforming the way legal education is taught here in South Carolina and the Southeast. We have been busy expanding our faculty, hiring legal scholars who are leading the way in new fields of law. We have been steadily increasing experiential learning courses, including new clinics and externship opportunities that will ensure our students leave here with equal doses of legal theory and practical application. We have grown our legal research and writing program, vital skills that form the foundation of every good lawyer.

But perhaps most impressive is our brand new home, a state-of-the-art facility built with the needs of today’s students in mind. There is no doubt that the way law is taught and practiced is rapidly changing, and our building was designed to change along with it, able to adapt to new technology and new ways of teaching for years to come. The school was designed to maximize interaction among students and faculty, and is located just two blocks from the State House, the Supreme Court of South Carolina, and the Court of Appeals, helping to anchor Columbia’s legal corridor.

When you step inside our doors, we believe you will feel the importance of the work that is performed here. You will feel that you are a part of a profession that truly has the power to change lives and make the world a better place.

And you won’t be alone. Starting on your first day, you will meet with your mentors, experienced attorneys who are paired up with all first-year students, to help you transition into being a law student. You will have the support of faculty and staff who are committed to helping you succeed. And you will see that our law school is very much an integral part of the legal community. In fact, throughout your time here, you will be surprised at the number of opportunities you will have to meet and talk with both alumni and legal scholars who are frequent guest speakers in our classrooms or at our symposiums. And we are honored to have a number of courses taught by judges, including a couple of alumni who sit on federal benches.

When you graduate, you will join a proud alumni base that is more than 10,000 strong and can be found practicing in 49 states and all over the world, from New York to London to Bangkok and Hong Kong; Leaders who served in U.S. Congress and as governors, who have been elected president of national legal organizations, including the American Bar Association, and justices on the Supreme Court of South Carolina; Alumni who share their successes and show their support for your legal education through generous scholarships and through their time.

In short, with a 150 year-long legacy, a brand new home, an innovative approach to legal education, and a powerful alumni network that spans the globe, you can be confident that we aren’t going anywhere, but your South Carolina law degree can take you anywhere.

Thank you for visiting, and we hope you will consider starting your legal career at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

-Dean Robert Wilcox, Class of 1981