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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

Q&A with Jim Klauber '93

Where do you call home? 

I am originally from Greenwood, SC. However, Boonsboro, MD, is my home.  

Why did you choose to attend South Carolina Law? 

It was the only and best law school in South Carolina! I believed at the time that I wanted a career in private practice, and it made sense to attend USC over others outside of South Carolina. 

Where has your job taken you?

Ten years of service in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Five years of private practice in Greenwood, SC. Over 15 years (of 27 total served) in the Judge Advocate Generals Corps in the S.C. Army National Guard. Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood. President of Owensboro Community and Technical College in Owensboro, KY. President of John C. Calhoun Community College in Decatur/Huntsville, AL. President of Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD. 

Do I keep in touch with classmates from my law school days? 

Yes. I remain close friends with my classmate, Russell A. DeMott, who also graduated in 1993. Russ was really smart, and on Law Review. I often say that studying with him got me through law school! I occasionally speak with John Hawkins who was a year behind me. John and I served in the General Assembly together. I also keep up with John Grantland (Class of ’91) and Reese Boyd (Class of ’94?) as well. My classmate Robert Sutton grew up just across the border from me in Pennsylvania. He practices in Myrtle Beach and swears he is coming up to hike some of the Appalachian Trail with me, but he has not shown up yet! The AT runs about 5 miles from my house, and we walk the Maryland sections regularly. 

The one regret I have about my law school experience is that I worked too much and played too little with my classmates. At the time, I was a law clerk for Governor Carroll Campbell. I enjoyed that job so much that I did not spend much time socializing and getting to know my classmates. I wish I had done more.  

What is the most valuable information you learned while you were in school? 

The most valuable thing I learned in law school was the ability to think through an issue, and to consider the third and fourth order of effects in what reaction might happen if I took a particular action. I also learned how to communicate, negotiate, and meet people in the middle in order to achieve success. 

What event or professional experience has given you the most satisfaction?

Seeing graduates of community colleges overcome amazing obstacles and achieve astonishing success that improves not only their lives but their family members as well. 

What information would you give a graduating class member seeking your advice on a legal career? 

Do not believe for a minute that what you plan to do today will be what you do tomorrow. As told to me by the great Professor Steve Spitz on our first day of Real Property, "A third of you will go into private practice. A third of you will go work for the government. A third of you will go do something else completely unrelated to the practice of law. All of you will be a great success in what you do!" I thought I would be in that first third of private practice. I ended up doing something else. I do not regret going to law school for a minute. I later went on to get a PhD, but I use my law degree every day.  

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.