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School of Law

Remembering Professor Emeritus Bill McAninch, 1940-2018

We are sad to announce the passing of William “Bill” McAninch, a distinguished professor emeritus of the School of Law, on Friday, Feb. 23.

McAninch began teaching at the School of Law in the fall of 1969, and was a beloved professor for the next 33 years. He taught classes and clinics that often stressed the relevance of public interest jobs. He showed students how to represent inmates, how poverty affects the law and the importance of representing one's clients well, regardless of circumstance. 

He retired in 2002, but his impact is still felt at the School of Law through the Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund that he and his wife, Jerry, created to encourage graduates to take public interest law jobs.

"The burden of law school debt often precludes an attorney from practicing in these relatively low-paying positions," said McAninch in a 2017 interview about the 15th anniversary of the fund. "Consequently, my wife, Jerry, and I donated $50,000 to establish [the fund] to provide debt relief to these lawyers."

Over the years, the fund has continued to grow, thanks to generous donations, and has paid more than $100,000 of student loan debt for 40 South Carolina Law graduates.

Bill's obituary listed the Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund as one of two places where donations may be made in lieu of flowers.  Those wishing to do so may mail a check made payable to "USC Foundations," and with "PILLFF/Law School" in the memo line, to:

Development and Alumni Relations
University of South Carolina School of Law
1525 Senate Street, Room 253
Columbia, SC 29208