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School of Law

  • Black and white historic photo of the Caroliniana Library, where the first ever law class was held.

    The first law class was held at the South Caroliniana Library on October 7, 1867.

History

Celebrating more than 150 years of excellence as the oldest law school in South Carolina.

Since our founding in 1867, the University of South Carolina School of Law has educated thousands of lawyers. In fact, our proudest accomplishments come from our outstanding alumni, who have used their law degrees to pursue justice, fight for the afflicted, and make the world a better place. You can read their stories on this website and witness their impact across our state and throughout the country. 

We'd also like to acknowledge our faculty, who have been the beating heart of this school from the very beginning. These educators, many of whom are also frequently-cited subject matter experts, really go above and beyond to model professionalism in practice. 

As we celebrate the past, we also want to make room to think about the future of South Carolina Law. In 2017, we celebrated both our 150th anniversary and our new home, a state of the art building that boasts mock courtrooms, new classrooms, and plenty of study space with natural light. We understand that the practice of law is changing with the advent of new technologies, and we believe our new building will facilitate learning for the next generation of lawyers.


Moments


1867

The School of Law is established as one of ten academic schools, when South Carolina College is converted into the University of South Carolina.

1868-1876

The Reconstruction-Era law school graduates thirty-nine students between 1868 and 1876. Eleven of these graduates are African American.

1918

Minna Layton Holman and Claudia James Sullivan graduate from the School of Law on June 12, 1918, earning the distinction of being its first female graduates.  By happenstance of her last name being earlier in the alphabet, Holman became the first woman to graduate.

1967

The law school is integrated in 1964. In June 1967, Jasper Cureton earns the distinction of being the first African American graduate of the law school since Reconstruction.

2017

The School of Law celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary and moves into a new building on Gervais Street in downtown Columbia.


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