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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

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Areas of Interest

While all lawyers receive a general J.D. degree, South Carolina Law allows students to design their own course loads in the second and third year to deepen their knowledge of a particular subject or explore different areas of practice.

Additionally, we offer a Children's Law Concentration and Combination Programs for students who want to earn a second degree in addition to their J.D. 

Within the general J.D. program, some of the areas of focus you can choose include:

With 30+ classes to choose from, including an in-house counsel externship, a non-profit organizations clinic, and a small business organization capstone course, there are more business law elective courses offered than any other subject area.  Add to that five dual degree programs offered through a partnership with the Darla Moore School of Business--ranked number one in the country for its International MBA program—and its easy to see why South Carolina Law should be at top of your list if you’re interested in business law.

Children’s and Family Law has been an area of intense interest for South Carolina Law for many years, beginning with the founding of the Children’s Law Center in 1995.  The School of Law also offers a Children’s Law Concentration, which will give you a strong background in many areas of child welfare, and ensure that you are prepared to fight for this vulnerable population, whether that means advocating for children directly, or working at a higher level to change policy.  With four clinical opportunities and a children’s law externship, plus student organizations and Pro Bono Program activities that relate directly to child advocacy, there are numerous ways to immerse yourself in this challenging but rewarding field of law. 

What makes South Carolina the perfect place for environmental law? Two dual degree programs that focus on different aspects of environmental protection, a sustainable development clinic that will teach you how to strike a balance between establishing new communities and preserving the natural environment, and professors who are at nationally-renowned experts in areas of climate change, coastal law, energy law and land use. 

Health Law is on the rise in the legal industry, and South Carolina Law is helping to meet the demand of lawyers needed in this specialized area. We offer a well-rounded curriculum that will help you understand the complexities and nuances of this field through a variety of opportunities. Courses include topics such as “Bioethics," Food and Drug Law," and “Public Health Law," as well as the "Carolina Health Advocacy Medicolegal Partnership Clinic,” where you will work collaboratively with doctors and social workers to help low income families get the care they need. You will also have a chance to apply your skills by volunteering at the Free Medical Clinic through the Pro Bono Program.


Federal and state laws may not keep pace with the rapid changes in technology, but luckily South Carolina Law professors do.  Our internationally-renowned faculty members are thought-leaders in areas of self-driving cars, robots, and other emerging areas of law—as well as the intellectual property and patent issues that follow.  Available courses cover all aspects of new technology, from the products themselves in classes like “Law of the Newly Possible,” to the impacts on consumers in “Product Liability,” to questions of ownership in “Copyright Law” and “Trademark Law.”

Litigation is one of the broadest areas of the law, and so its no wonder that South Carolina Law has devoted so many resources to this area of focus. The law school offers approximately 30 courses in various aspects of litigation, but your opportunities for growth go well beyond the classroom.  Our moot court and mock trial teams are very active, winning both national and regional competitions. In fact, the mock trial team has won both the Carolinas Cup and the Texas Young Lawyers Association Regional competitions three years in a row (2014-2016). And, as a South Carolina Law student, you will have unique access to the largest law firm in the United States—the U.S. Department of Justice—which has its only training facility right on campus. As a second- or third-year student, you can participate alongside federal, state, and local prosecutors in lectures and training sessions at the National Advocacy Center.  

Death and taxes, it has been said, are the two certainties in life. But who pays--and how much--is constantly changing as the U.S. tax code grows increasingly complex. South Carolina Law has courses that cover all aspects of tax law, so regardless of whether your client is an individual family or a major corporation, you will have a firm understanding of the tax implications they may face—and how to mitigate them. And if your interests lie in shaping future tax policies, you will have as your guide faculty members whose expertise, scholarly research and professional experience have focused on creating a more equitable tax code.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.