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School of Law

Putting Our Passion into Practice

Since 1867, USC’s School of Law has been passionate about everything we do, from innovative legal research to cultivating new ways for our students to learn. We have remained true to our commitment of preparing students for success in a variety of career paths in any part of the world. Here are just a few of the ways we are putting our passion into practice.

Breaking New Ground

The University of South Carolina School of Law enjoys a rich tradition as the 14th oldest public law school in the U.S. In 2017, we are celebrating our 150th anniversary as with the opening of our new law school building — a modern, innovative home for Carolina’s law students. The state-of-the-art facility anchors Columbia S.C.’s bustling legal corridor and gives the law school room to grow while showcasing its rich history. It affords law students like Chelsea Evans the opportunity to excel in everything they do.

Chelsea Evans

Chelsea Evans

Alumna, Class of 2018 
First African-American editor-in-chief of the South Carolina Law Review

Researching the Possibilities

University of South Carolina law professor Bryant Walker Smith, whose research focuses on the implications of emerging transportation technology, is putting his passion for innovative legal research into practice. Smith is an internationally recognized expert on the law of self-driving vehicles, taught the first-ever course on this topic and is regularly consulted by government, industry and the media for his expertise.  

Bryant Walker Smith

Bryant Walker Smith

Professor of Technology Law: Law of the Newly Possible

Thinking Outside the Book

Being in the field is crucial when it comes to studying coastal law. At the University of South Carolina’s Coastal Law Field Lab, Professor Josh Eagle has turned the coastline into a classroom to immerse students in the practice of environmental law. The Coastal Law Field Experience is a six-credit summer course, open to law students from across the country. Over the course of four weeks in Charleston, S.C., students spend eight full days outside the classroom visiting natural locations ­– like Kiawah Island and Folly Beach ­– that exemplify coastal law issues. Field experiences are led by experts in ecology, engineering and business development, providing the in-depth, hands-on experience students can’t get from a textbook.

Josh Eagle

Josh Eagle

Solomon Blatt Professor of Law
Author of the Aspen casebook, Coastal Law (2011)

Advocating for the Future

Our passion for helping vulnerable populations is unwavering. At our Children’s Law Center, students work side-by-side with lawyers and government agencies to help protect minors in the court system. The center helps prosecutors, judges and caseworkers create the best possible outcomes for abused and neglected children.

Emily Suski

Emily Suski

Assistant Law Professor
Maryland Law Review published author
Former staff attorney for JustChildren

Leading the Way

We believe strongly that the first day of class is the first day of a student’s legal career. Through our mentor program, every first-year South Carolina law student has the opportunity to be paired with a practicing judge or attorney like Sheila Willis. These mentors provide one-on-one guidance and help students navigate through law school and into the professional world. There’s no question that having a good mentor can help shape an individual’s career. We seek out mentors who are able to act as coaches, motivators, teachers, counselors or confidants, and create working relationships that can last a lifetime.  

Sheila Bias

Sheila Willis

2001 Law School Alumna
Attorney with Fisher and Phillips LLP
Volunteer Mentor

Initiating Change

USC’s School of Law has advocated the concept that no one, regardless of position or title, is above the law. Our Rule of Law Collaborative is a university-wide initiative that encourages students to deepen their understanding of the world we live in, learn how different countries operate and how U.S. entities work within their legal systems.

Joel Samuels

Joel Samuels

Director of the Rule of Law Collaborative
2016 Outstanding Faculty Member for teaching excellence

Serving the Public

We believe it is important to foster a passion for public service, especially to those who cannot afford legal help. Our all-volunteer pro bono program was the first of its kind in the nation and is a vital part of the law school’s culture. Our students embrace the idea of volunteering as an opportunity to serve, hone their skills and put their academic knowledge to use in the real world. Under the direction of Pamela Robinson, students are matched with S.C. attorneys currently litigating pro bono cases. Students perform clerking duties such as research and drafting, while exploring career options, gaining practical experience and making our community a better place.

Pamela Robinson

Pamela Robinson

Director of the Pro Bono Program
2016 South Carolina Lawyer of the Year

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.