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Section IX - Student Services

A. Student Affairs

  1. The Law School Student Affairs offices are located in Suite 127 of the Student Services Suite on the first floor of the School of Law. Susan Palmer, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Heather Beatty, the Director of Student Affairs and Jacob Watters, Coordinator of Student Affairs are all in this suite.

    You will be able to find information on most things, but the frequently asked questions pertain to the following:
    • Accommodations & Disability Services
    • Bar Application Forms
    • Bar Review Loans
    • Commencement and Hooding Exercises
    • Counseling Services
    • Emergency Student Loans
    • Emergency Messages
    • Housing
    • Lockers and student Mailboxes
    • Mental Health and Wellness
    • Orientation
    • Student Organizations
  2. Emergency Loan Program

The School of Law has established an emergency student loan program available to all currently enrolled full-time law students, in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00. The loans have an interest rate of 7%, are limited to $500.00, and must be repaid within 90 days. A student may have only one emergency loan at a time.

Students requesting an emergency loan must complete an application form, available in Room 127. Completed applications will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or Director of Student Affairs. For the purposes of qualifying for an emergency student loan an "emergency" shall be defined as "a sudden state of financial need relating to or impacting on the education of a law student."

Loan requests are granted only for educational related expenses. After the application has been approved, necessary forms are prepared, and the student may take them to the Office of Student Loan Accounting at 1244 Blossom Street, where a check will be prepared and given to the student.

Should a student have an outstanding emergency loan balance when a federal student loan is received, the Office of Student Loan Accounting will request authorization to deduct the outstanding balance from the federal loan monies. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure that the loan is paid off no later than the date due.

Emergency loans are available during the fall and spring semesters and during summer school, if the student is enrolled. However, no emergency loans will be made during the period between semesters.

B. Career Services

 

The Office of Career Services works with law students to help them build the skills and tools necessary to conduct a successful job search and pursue a meaningful career. All 1Ls engage in a one-on-one counseling appointment with a member of the Career Services team during their first semester to begin mapping out a career plan and developing a job search strategy. The Career Services team continues to counsel students throughout law school as they seek summer and post-graduate employment. The Office also coordinates on- and off-campus interviews, posts job opportunities, and makes print and online resources available to help students reach their goals. These resources are also available to alumni.

Examples of our services include:

  • One-on-one career counseling to assess interests, identify opportunities, and prepare an effective job search strategy
  • Self-assessment tools
  • Resume and cover letter preparation assistance and review
  • Judicial clerkship application preparation assistance and counseling
  • Live and online programming regarding job search strategies and career opportunities, including employer-driven programming
  • Print and online job-search-related resources, including guidance for identifying opportunities, preparing application documents, interviewing effectively, and navigating offers
  • Mock interviews
  • Networking opportunities with alumni and employers
  • Job Postings for summer and post-graduate positions
  • On- and off-campus interview programs, including participation in off-campus interview consortia programs with other law schools
  • Collaboration with student organizations on career-related initiatives

As a condition to using our services, including participating in our on- and off-campus interview programs, the Office expects that students will:

  • Withdraw from scheduled interviews after accepting a position
  • Honor their commitments to employers
  • Report summer employment information
  • Report graduate employment information as required by the American Bar Association

C. Registrar and Academic Services

 

Information and advisement on the following matters are available through the Registrar/Academic Services Office, Room 128.

  • Course Requirements
  • Degree Requirements
  • Dual Degree Programs
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Exam Administration
  • Grades
  • Graduation
  • Registration
  • Self Service Carolina
  • State Bar Certifications
  • Student Records*
  • Study Abroad/Visiting other Law Schools
  • Transfer Students
  • Transient Students
  • Tuition and Fee Payment
  • Withdrawals/Leave of Absence/Readmission

*Note: official transcripts are only available through the University Registrar’s Office at 1244 Blossom Street.

 

 D. Pro Bono Program

             

Started in 1989, the USC Pro Bono Program is the first voluntary pro bono program in a US law school.  The Pro Bono Program is open to ALL USC law students who are interested in volunteering in the community. By volunteering you can hone the skills necessary to develop your career while gaining valuable experience.

The goals of the Program are:

  • to provide opportunities for skills enhancement and career development;
  • to involve law students in the volunteer programs of the community; and
  • to foster the ethic of professional commitment to those who are unrepresented.

 

E. Accommodations & Disability Services

 

The Office of Student Affairs of the law school works with the university Student Disability Resource Center to provide services and accommodations to meet the varying needs of law students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resource Center facilitates academic accommodations for students with documented physical, medical, sensory, and psychiatric disabilities. Disability Services also facilitates academic accommodations for students with documented learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. These services and accommodations are in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. Section 504 states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual. . . shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. . .”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states, in part, that “an individual with a disability” is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a “major life activity”, has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment. The ADA requires that public entities “must ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from services, programs, and activities because buildings are inaccessible”.

Students seeking an accommodation need to register with the Student Disability Resource Center before an accommodation will be given at the law school.  You can contact them via their website: 

Services and accommodations provided by the Student Disability Resource Center may include, but are not limited to: https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/student_disability_resource_center/index.php

  • Assessment of needs for law school
  • Assistance with examinations
  • Facilities accommodations assistance
  • Liaison service with numerous organizations offering services for disabled persons
  • Pre-admission counseling
  • Providing readers, interpreters, or note takers

The Student Disability Resource Center notifies the Law School Office of Student Affairs regarding a student’s disability and recommended accommodation.  Upon official notification of a disability, it is the Law School’s mission to provide reasonable accommodations and services to assist students in successfully completing a rigorous law program. Students are informed that while reasonable accommodations are available for disabilities, they are held to the same academic performance standards as any other student.

At the law school, the names of the students with accommodations are not disclosed to faculty members.  For purposes of the exam accommodations, faculty members have two suggested options regarding their administration.  The faculty member may provide the Office of Student Affairs with a copy of the exam to be administered or they may require the student to come to the examination room to hear the instructions and receive a copy of the exam.  In either option, the Office of Student Affairs works to maintain anonymity of the student. The Law School Office of Student Affairs will notify the student of the time and place for the examination. In such cases, the Director of Student Affairs will notify the faculty member that a student will be taking an examination under accommodation. However, the faculty member will not be provided any information that will identify the student or any information explaining why the accommodation will be granted.

Once approved by the Student Disability Resource Center, the student will meet with the law school Office of Student Affairs to discuss processes of the law school:

  1. If an exam is take home, the allotted time will be determined by the Office of Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the faculty member.

  2. The start time of the exam will be determined by the Office of Student Affairs, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the faculty member.

It is the policy of the Law School and the University of South Carolina to provide students a prompt and suitable method for resolving complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Education regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

            Procedures:

  1. Student complaints of discrimination based on a disability must be forwarded in writing to the Director, 1523 Greene Street, LeConte Room 112A, Columbia, SC 29208.

  2. A complaint must be filed in writing within 15 working days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation. If a complainant needs assistance composing the complaint, appropriate assistance may be arranged through the Office of Educational Support Services.

  3. An appropriate investigation shall follow the filing of the complaint. The investigation shall be conducted by the Director of Judicial Affairs, and may be informal but thorough, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the complaint.

  4. A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the Director of Judicial Affairs and forwarded to the complainant as soon as the investigation is concluded, normally no later than 30 working days after the filing of the complaint.

  5. The Section 504 and ADA coordinator for students on the Columbia campus shall maintain the files and records of Section 504 and ADA complaints filed by students at U.S.C. Columbia. In addition, such files and records as are necessary for system-wide Section 504 monitoring and reporting purposes shall be maintained by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.

  6. The complainant may request a reconsideration of the case if dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration must be made in writing to the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, 1600 Hampton Street, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 within 10 working days after the complainant’s receipt of notification of the resolution.

  7. The right to a prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of a Section 504 and ADA complaint with the appropriate federal department or agency.

 

 

 


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