When should I take the LSAT?
We encourage you to take the LSAT no later than the summer or fall of the year before you expect to enroll in a fall law school entering class. We will accept a score from the winter or spring tests, but we will already have begun to fill places in the entering class by the time your LSAT score is received, which can affect your chances of admission.
If you plan to apply for admission for the Fall 2018 entering class, there will be five LSAT test administrations before our priority deadline to apply — in June, September and December of 2017 and in February and June of 2018. Starting in 2019, the testing year will begin in July rather than in June. Please note that the July 2019 administration of the LSAT will be too late to be considered for admission for the fall 2019 entering class.
If you want to make sure you have an opportunity to repeat the test, register for either the summer or early fall administration. That way, if you are unsatisfied with your initial score, you will have time to retake the test in late fall or winter.
What degree(s) do you offer?
Currently we offer a Juris Doctor.
Do you have a part-time program?
We currently do not have a part-time program. Students are required to attend full time. Students must carry a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. However, merely complying with the 12 credit hours per semester will not enable students to graduate in three years. A normal course load is 15 hours.
Can law students work while enrolled?
The School of Law Student Handbook states that, “Students should not be employed during the first-year of law school. Excessive employment during the second and third year is inadvisable; if undertaken employment should not exceed fifteen hours per week and must not exceed twenty hours per week during the second and third years of law school.” These references relate to the fall and spring semesters. It is important to focus on your coursework in the first year in order to establish a foundation for your upper division coursework. It is also important to get experience with legal employers, so you can identify the career path for which you are best suited. The law school will help you connect with employers through mentoring, pro bono, externships, and summer jobs. Your advisors and Career Services can help you understand when and how these connections take place. The University’s Financial Aid Office stands ready to help you determine how to finance your legal education. If you are admitted, reach out to the USC Financial Aid Office for advice as you are considering your law school choice.
What is the academic residency requirement?
To receive a Juris Doctor degree, a law student must attend a law school for six semesters, four of which must be completed in residence while taking at least 12 credit hours each semester.
How many credits do I need to graduate?
90 hours are required for a Juris Doctor degree.
What is the minimum and maximum number of hours that a student can register for each semester?
A student must register for a minimum of 12 hours, but no more than 16 hours per semester.
What courses are required for graduation?
Required First Year Courses include:
Introduction to the Legal Profession
Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing I and II
Required Upper Level Courses for students entering Fall 2011 include:
Professional Skills Course (beginning with students graduating in December 2010)
A Perspective Course (to be chosen from a list of courses)
A Writing Requirement Course or Legal Research Project (30 page paper required)
Does your law school have a grade normalization policy?
Yes, we have a grade normalization policy in order to maintain relative parity in
grading among faculty, particularly among first year sections. Our grade normalization
For first year courses, the average grade in all classes shall fall within the range of 2.700 to 3.000.
For upper level courses, the average grade in classes of more than 25 students should fall within .25 points of the class mean of the enrolled students' GPA.
What is your grading scale?
A= 4.0; B+=3.5; B=3.0; C+=2.5; C=2.0; D+=1.5; D=1.0; F=0
Are students given a class rank? If so, how often?
All degree seeking students are ranked at the end of each major semester. The class ranks are based on the collegiate cumulative GPA at that time. Fall class ranks, which will include summer grades, are made available by March 1. Spring class ranks are made available by August 1.
Can I reactivate my application from a previous year?
An applicant who applied in the prior admissions season must submit a new application form and application fee. If you had not finished your bachelor's degree when you applied previously, you also must submit a new LSAC/CAS report that includes all work toward the undergraduate degree. We strongly recommend that you update your resume and personal statement.
An applicant who is reapplying after more than one year must submit all required materials, as we only retain application files for one year.
Wait Listed Candidates
Why do law schools maintain a waiting list?
Data from past years guide us in determining how many offers we expect to make to fill our entering class of 200-210 students. But in some years, more admitted candidates than expected accept offers of admission to the University of South Carolina School of Law; in other years, fewer do so. Or, admitted candidates make initial confirmation deposits to more than one school, or change their enrollment plans and withdraw during the summer, creating places in the class.
How many candidates are on the waiting list? How many candidates are usually offered admission?
The waiting list is a status in a candidate's file rather than an enumerated list. Admitted candidates will withdraw as they commit to other schools, and we will periodically notify candidates if it appears unlikely we will be able to offer them admission. There is no typical number accepted from the waiting list; it has varied from a few to 10 percent or more of the entering class.
When can I expect to hear something?
We may be able to make offers to some candidates in early April, after the April 1 deposit deadline has passed. We depend upon admitted candidates to notify us of their intentions, so we cannot predict when vacancies may occur. We will retain candidates on the waiting list from April through July. If you have not heard from us, you are still on the waiting list. Feel free to call the Admissions Office at any time to ask for an update on our admission process. Because of the pre-enrollment steps candidates must take, we will try to make offers by late July.
Do you accept transfer students?
Yes. Students may transfer from another ABA accredited law school to the University of South Carolina School of Law.
What courses transfer?
Most first year courses will transfer if a grade of "C" or better is earned. An official determination is made after the law school transcript is reviewed by the Law Registrar.
How many credit hours will transfer?
No more than 30 credit hours may transfer.
What happens to my GPA when I transfer?
The cumulative GPA is converted, if necessary, to USC's 4.0 scale. Numerical grades are converted to letter grades. A collegiate cumulative GPA is calculated based on the transfer GPA and GPA of courses taken at USC.
Once accepted, when do transfer students register?
Transfer students meet with the law registrar in late July/first of August to register.
Do transfer students have a class rank?
Transfer students receive a class rank after one year of attendance at USC.