A message from the Dean

Dean Rob Wilcox


We are at the end of our sesquicentennial, a period of celebration that has reflected on the accomplishments of the last 150 years while keeping an eye on the many exciting opportunities that await us in the future. Not so coincidentally, the stories in this issue follow suit.

Before we close the door on this anniversary, we take one last look back at our history from the perspective of two groundbreaking individuals at the School of Law. Our cover story is a conversation between I.S. Leevy Johnson, the first African-American graduate since Reconstruction to have attended all three years of school here, and Chelsea Evans, the first African-American editor-in-chief of the South Carolina Law Review. It was with some trepidation that Mr. Johnson decided to enroll in 1965, just one year after the school had desegregated. He spoke candidly with Ms. Evans about what it was like to be one of only three African-Americans at the school, and how things have — and have not — changed over the last 50 years.

So, what is on the horizon? In these pages, you’ll learn about one of our newest initiatives, our veterans clinic, under the command of Bennett Gore, a 2005 alumnus and U.S. Army veteran. When the clinic opens this summer, it will be unlike any of our other clinical courses, as it will operate year-round and indigent veterans will be able to contact the school directly to seek help with their legal issues.

We also spoke with John Few, Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of South Carolina and a 1988 alumnus, about a new website that is designed to make it easier for attorneys willing to do pro bono work to be paired up with South Carolinians in need of free legal services. It is a passion project for Justice Few — one that he hopes will drastically increase access to justice for those in need with help from all of you.

Finally, in addition to highlighting this year’s distinguished recipients of the 2018 Compleat Lawyer Award, we spotlight a recent grad and a student who are already making a name for themselves through their achievements and philanthropic endeavors.

There are so many good things happening at your School of Law — more than we could ever squeeze between these pages. If you don’t already, we invite you to visit our website often (law.sc.edu) to read the recent accomplishments of our faculty and students and learn about upcoming events that you can take part in. And if you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, I hope you will share our news, tag us in yours, and show your pride in being an alum of the University of South Carolina School of Law.