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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

  • Group Photo of Faculty at Commencement

Faculty Expertise

The University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law has more than 50 full-time faculty members who teach advanced courses on trial advocacy, and are committed to excellence in teaching and research. Many of our faculty are nationally prominent in their respective areas of expertise and are authors of leading casebooks, treatises, and law review articles.

Media Inquiries

Please email law faculty expert requests to Andersen Cook and include your deadline, interview format, publication, and as much detail as possible about the case(s) or topic of your piece.

Frequently sought after by both national, state, and local media outlets, our faculty can provide your audience with straightforward answers that are clear, concise and easy to understand.

Below, you will find a comprehensive listing of each full-time faculty member, as well as their areas of expertise. You may click an individual's name for more information about that particular faculty member and his/her selected achievements.

Administrative Law

Administrative law topics in South Carolina include: notice and due process, rulemaking, the South Carolina Administrative Procedure Act, and associated case law, as well as provide a survey of state agencies, their jurisdiction, and specific agency statutes such as the Revenue Procedures Act. 

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Over 95% of all legal disputes are resolved outside of the courts. Related topics include the main Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes: negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Appellate Practice

Appellate litigation with a view to developing appellate practice skills, including formulation of strategies on appeal, use of the appellate record, brief writing, and oral advocacy. 

Business Associations

Law focused on the structure and characteristics of enterprises organized to do business in the partnership, LLC, and corporate form. Related areas include the formation, ownership, operation, governance, and dissolution of the business entity.

Civil Procedure

Procedural steps in the prosecution and defense of civil cases in federal court. Topics include pleadings, discovery, joinder of parties, summary judgment, default, post-trial motions, and claim and issue preclusion.

Coastal and Ocean Law

Law involving conflicts between human use of coastal areas and the ecological integrity of coastal systems. Related issues include, but is not limited to, sea-level-rise impacts on beaches, public access disputes during the COVID-19 era, recent public access litigation, beach privatization, and differences in public beach rights across jurisdictions.

Commercial Law

Law focused on the formation, structure, and characteristics of enterprises organized to do business in the corporate form. Related issues include shareholder and promoter liability, division of enterprise ownership, owners and control, duties of management, and securities regulation.

Comparative Law

This field covers various legal traditions and foreign jurisdictions. Topics include the common law, civil law, Islamic law, indigenous and customary law, and legal pluralism.

Conflicts of Law

Law relating to transactions or relationships with elements in more than one state: judicial and legislative jurisdiction; federal law and state law; choice of law; recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments; interstate divorce, support, and custody.

Constitutional Law (State)

Structure of the South Carolina Government, the function of the Supreme Court in South Carolina government, and the provisions of the South Carolina State Constitution that guarantee and protect individual rights against governmental encroachment.

Constitutional Law (U.S.)

Structure of the Federal Government, the function of the Supreme Court in constitutional government, and the provisions of the United States Constitution that guarantee and protect individual rights against governmental encroachment. Topics include judicial review, sources and limits of congressional power, presidential power, equal protection, substantive due process and identification of unenumerated fundamental rights, freedom of speech, and the religion clauses. 


Law governing contracts, both common law and the Uniform Commercial Code. Topics covered include the agreement process, requirements for enforceability, interpretation and meaning, defenses, and remedies. 

Copyright Law

Case law and statutory authority pertaining to copyright protection of literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, audiovisual, and architectural work, as well as computer software.

Criminal Law

Rules, principles, and doctrines applicable to most or many crimes. These doctrines include actus reus (What is a criminal act?), mens rea (What states of mind are criminal?), and the defenses of insanity, intoxication, impossibility, mistake, duress, necessity, and self-defense.

Criminal Procedure

Procedural regulations related to procedural stages of a criminal prosecution. Related topics include: the decision to charge and the issuance of complaints; initial appearance; bail and pretrial release and detention; the probable cause hearing; grand jury, indictment, and information; joinder; criminal discovery; guilty pleas and plea bargaining; speedy trial rights and provisions; jurisdiction and venue; civil forfeiture; double jeopardy; criminal trials and pretrial motions; sentencing, the death penalty, appeal, and post-conviction remedies (particularly habeas corpus).


Legal issues concerning persons with disabilities in the workplace, the legal protections provided them by federal and state statutes, and the challenges facing employers seeking to comply with these statutory duties.

Disaster Law

Law, regulations and legal issues pertaining to disasters.

Education Law

Historical and contemporary civil liberties issues arising in the operation of the American public school system. Related topics include religious activities in schools, the regulation of student and teacher speech, student privacy, school safety and student discipline.

Environmental Law

Natural resources laws are meant to ensure, among other things, that wildlife and fisheries are managed sustainably; that fresh water is conserved and allocated fairly; that endangered species are recovered to healthy populations; and that public and private lands provide a wide range of goods and services.

Entrepreneurship Law & Financing

Related issues include: economics of valuation (including consideration of risk and return and the capital asset pricing model), the efficient market hypothesis and the accuracy of stock prices more generally (theories, evidence, and limits), the mechanics and economics of the stock market through which firms raise equity capital, the role of stock prices in capital allocation and corporate governance, event studies, option theory, dividends and share repurchases, debt and leverage, and the theory of the firm.


Preparation and presentation of various kinds of evidence, including: proof of writings; qualifications and examination of witnesses; privilege; opinion testimony; demonstrative, experimental, scientific evidence; determination of relevancy; and application of the hearsay rule. 

Family Business Law

Family businesses have distinctive characteristics, both because family values influence business choices, and because the laws governing divorce, inheritance, and trusts can produce results at odds with what business organization laws would otherwise provide. Lawyers practicing in this area need to be sensitive to family dynamics and aware of how various laws overlap.

Family Law

Issues related to the legal status of childhood and the parent-child relationship, including: the foundations of parental authority over children, the foundations of the state's parens patriae authority to intervene in family life, the allocation of authority to make decisions concerning children, child abuse and neglect, the child protection legal system, and family courts and executive branch agencies which administer relevant areas of law. 

Federal Indian Law

Jurisdictional issues arising between those governments, the source and scope of Indian sovereignty, and the recognition and enforcement of Indian land and treaty rights.

Federal Firearms Law

Federal law establishes a regulatory framework for the lawful manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms at the national level. The federal framework generally serves as a floor for permissible firearm use and transactions, leaving states free to supplement with additional restrictions so long as they do not conflict with federal law.

Food & Drug Law

Law related to the regulation of human food and human drugs (prescription and OTC).


Health Law

Health law focuses on the business of health care and the laws that impact health care business enterprises, including the tax laws governing tax-exempt organizations, the antitrust laws, and the fraud and abuse laws. Additionally, health law also focuses on quality of care, access to care, cost containment and the role of the public health.

Human Rights

Law pertaining to domestic, international, and regional human rights.

Immigration Law

Law related to who can legally enter, reside, and become a citizen in the polity of the United States, a country that has attracted large numbers of immigrants throughout its history and continues to do so today. 

Intellectual Property

Law related to copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Related issues include: federal and state trademark and unfair competition law with an emphasis on the nature, scope and enforcement of trademark rights.

International Law

Basic contours of public international law, private international law, domestic (U.S.) law on international issues, supranational law, and comparative law, with a particular focus on the former three categories. 

International Trade Law

International, foreign, and domestic law that American business may encounter in doing business abroad, in selling products for export, and in competing in the U.S. with imported goods.

Juvenile Justice

Related topics include: quality of and access to counsel for youth in delinquency cases, systemic racial and ethnic disparities, over incarceration of youth, the role of schools as feeders to the juvenile justice system, and transfer of youth to the adult criminal justice system. 

Labor & Employment Law

The statutory and common law rules governing the establishment and termination of the employment relationship and regulating the conditions of employment. 

Legal Profession & Legal Ethics

Different roles in which lawyers serve and the different work environments in which lawyers are employed. Basic principles of professionalism as outlined by the Rules of Professional Conduct. Topics also include legal malpractice, the disciplinary system, ethical issues facing lawyers in particular fields, ethics and professionalism in litigation, and office practice.


Legislative law and the legislative process. Related topics include: the legislative power, legislative structure and procedures, interpretation and drafting of statutory law, election laws, legislative advocacy, and regulation of lobbyists.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Federal and state law (principally that of Delaware) relating to business combinations, both friendly and contested. Included will be coverage of asset acquisitions, mergers, leveraged buyouts, takeover defenses, directors’ duties, and tax and accounting rules peculiar to merger and acquisition activity, among other matters. 

National Security Law

National Security Law focuses on topics that on involve homeland security, including statues used to combat international and domestic terrorism, export control rules and regulations, the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in espionage cases, and the civil liberties impacted by the implementation and use of laws aimed at protecting the nation from foreign and domestic threats.

Nonprofit Organizations

Law related to the nonprofit tax exempt sector. Related topics include: the study of the formation, structure, and characteristics of nonprofit organizations and the major categories of federal tax exemption with an emphasis on charitable organizations such as religious organizations, churches, educational organizations, healthcare organizations and arts organizations.

Police Practices

Law pertaining to the roles that police play in our society, the ways in which police agencies and officers are regulated, and how those regulations translate into police policy and officer behavior.

Products Liability

Study of the law governing legal responsibility for losses caused by defective products.

Race & the Law

How race has been treated in American law, emphasizing both a historical perspective and current legal issues. Related topics include: the desegregation of schools, affirmative action, racial justice in criminal law, voting rights, and employment discrimination.

Real Property

Primarily focuses upon the acquisition, characteristics, and transferability of property interests, as well as the relationship between privately held property interests in land and government regulation of that land for public purposes. Topics covered in the course will typically include personal property (gifts, bailments, lost & found), adverse possession, estates, future interests, landlord tenant, easements, covenants, purchase & sale, deeds, financing, and zoning. 

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a process that addresses harm and can exist in community outside the legal system, though it is also sometimes connected to the state legal processes, most often criminal processes. Restorative justice operates with its own animating set of values and ethics, and practices can be implemented for purposes unrelated to harm. This topic also includes transformative justice, another approach to responding to harm and violence that more firmly separates itself from the state.

Rule of Law

Study of law, institutions, and norms as they pertain to a set of identified societal goals, often including promotion of human rights, equitable administration of justice, and governmental accountability. Topics include judicial independence, anti-corruption practices, fundamental rights, non-state forms of justice, access to justice, constitutional drafting, transitional justice, and post-conflict legal reform and development.

Securities Regulation

Law focused on securities markets, including private actions and government regulation, with a particular focus on the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Sex & The Law

U.S. and international legal responses to gender-based violence. Related topics include: social constructions of gender and their relationship to violence, as well as the historical and contemporary treatment of multiple forms of gender-based violence under the law, such as trafficking, forced marriage, intimate partner violence, rape, sexual harassment, sexual violence within armed conflict, and ritualized practices. 


Law related to income taxation of individuals; gross income, adjusted gross income, applicable deductions, credits, gains and losses and nonrecognition transactions. Additionally, law related to federal income taxation of corporations and shareholders.

Technology & Law

How law responds to, incorporates, and affects the development of new technologies. 


The legal protection afforded in civil proceedings against interference by others with the security of one’s person, property, or intangible interests; the analysis of intentional interference, negligence, and strict liability in the context of recognized categories of tort liability. 

Transportation Law

Transportation plays a huge role in life and in law. Related topics include sudden unintended acceleration in motor vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Wills, Trusts & Estates

Law related to how property passes when a person dies intestate or with a will. 


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