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Joseph F. Rice School of LawAt a Glance

The University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law prepares lawyer-leaders who serve the public with knowledge, professionalism and civility.

The Joseph F. Rice School of Law is one of the nation’s oldest and the state’s only nonprofit law school. Centrally located in the capital city, student learning opportunities abound at the State House, and South Carolina Supreme Court in addition to a wide variety of courts, from state to federal, criminal and civil, and even courts of special jurisdiction. Plus, students have access to the nation’s leading legal minds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center training facility, just steps away on the USC campus.

Early Academic Support and Mentorship

With a multitude of degree options, the Joseph F. Rice School of Law blends required coursework and chosen electives so students can match studies to professional interests and ambitions. The school’s more than 30 student organizations offer opportunities to take education and experience to new levels both inside and outside the classroom. It’s a depth of education backed by academic support services that prepares graduates for successful careers in business, government and private practice.

Joseph F. Rice School of Law
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Program Spotlight

Practical, Meaningful Experience

The Joseph F. Rice School of Law offers eight in-house clinics supervised by full-time licensed attorneys where students can practice law as student attorneys representing real clients pursuing matters such as health, children’s and veterans’ law. Capstone courses, externships and study abroad offer students exceptional real and simulated experiences that provide a strong career foundation and also help meet the legal needs of South Carolinians.

Law students posed in front of the judges bench in a courtroom.

A High-Powered Network

Our alumni work in law settings of all sizes and scopes and in all corners of the globe. As early as 1L year, students can access alumni working in the nonprofit sector; government; and with local, state and international companies such as Amazon, Google and Netflix. Connecting students with peers, legal practitioners and faculty is a central focus at the Joseph F. Rice School of Law.

Law students at graduation.

Latest News

Be in the know. Get all the latest news, stories, highlights and more from the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law.

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Life-Changing Work

The school’s all-volunteer Pro Bono Program is the nation's first and oldest. Through a number of law-related opportunities, students can apply their education and skills, further explore their career path and deepen their commitment to serving the public. Among our partner organizations are the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center, Lexington County Juvenile Arbitration Program, Lawyers4Vets Legal Clinic, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, the Richland County Bar Association’s HELP Homeless Clinic and more. And with the new Palmetto Leader mobile clinic, students and faculty travel the state to provide legal services to underserved communities.


Research and Resources

The University of South Carolina, including the Joseph F. Rice School of Law and our five centers and programs, has earned Tier 1 classification by the Carnegie Foundation for top-tier research and community engagement. Interdisciplinary programs such as the Rule of Law Collaborative, Children’s Law Center, Excellence in Policing and Public Safety Program, and others expand the School of Law’s reach within the profession, benefit community well-being and provide valuable continuing education training. 

incoming students at orientation.

A Student-Focused Education

While law school is a challenging educational path, the Joseph F. Rice School of Law provides a nurturing, collegial atmosphere that’s conducive to personal and professional learning and growth. Located in a state-of-the-art law center, which includes a 300-seat working courtroom, 24-hour commons areas and one of the Southeast’s largest law libraries, life outside the classroom matters, too.

USC stamp with text Forever to Thee, Founded in 1801, South Carolina.