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Joseph F. Rice School of Law


William C. Hubbard

Title: Dean
Professor of Law
Joseph F. Rice School of Law
Phone: 803-777-6857
Office: 1525 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29208
Resources: CV [pdf]
William C. Hubbard


William C. Hubbard served as president of the American Bar Association in 2014–2015. As president, he led efforts to increase access to justice through innovation, reform the criminal justice system, provide legal assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children, improve support for victims of domestic violence, and strengthen the rule of law globally. He previously served a two-year term as chair of the ABA’s House of Delegates. Hubbard is a past president of the American Bar Foundation and a past president of the American Bar Endowment. From 2019–2020, he served as chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which reports to the DOJ and the U.S. Senate on the qualifications of federal judicial nominees.

Hubbard is co-founder and chair of the Board of the World Justice Project, a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. 

In 2023, Hubbard was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Council of the American Law Institute (emeritus), as well as the Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation. He is an Honorary Master of the Bench of Middle Temple in London.

In 2002, Hubbard was presented the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award presented by a South Carolina governor. In 2007, he received the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. In 2016, the Burton Foundation, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, named Hubbard the recipient of its inaugural “Leadership in Law” award.

Hubbard served on the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina from 1986–2020 and served as chairman of the board from 1996–2000. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1977 and a Bachelor of Arts in History, magna cum laude, from the University of South Carolina in 1974. As an undergraduate, Hubbard received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the university’s highest student award. In 2009, he received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2010, the university awarded him its highest recognition, the Honorary Doctor of Laws.

After law school, Hubbard was law clerk to U.S. District Judge Robert F. Chapman. He is a former partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, SC.

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