U.S. Supreme Court Justice to Speak at USC Law School Dedication


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito will speak at the dedication for the University of South Carolina’s new law school.

Justice Alito will deliver the keynote address at the new building, located at 1525 Senate St., at 10 a.m. Thursday.

School officials said the program will also include remarks by President Harris Pastides, Dean Robert Wilcox, S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty and William Hubbard, past president of the American Bar Association, alumnus and university trustee. The dedication coincides with the School of Law’s 150th anniversary.

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Uniquely Ours

Walk through the University of South Carolina’s new law school and two things are apparent in the design — a sense of history and an eye toward the future.

The classrooms convey the formality of the legal profession but are equipped with state-of-the art media capabilities, including ceiling microphones. An old-school reading room designed for quiet study complements a bustling, 24-hour student commons area named for South Carolina’s largest law firm, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.  

And then, of course, there are the two courtrooms, named for two towering figures from South Carolina’s rich legal history.

“I tell people all the time, ‘We don’t want this to be a building that could just as easily be at the University of Iowa or someplace else,’” says Robert Wilcox, ’81 law, dean of the School of Law. “This is the University of South Carolina. We’re proud of the historical ties to the profession in the state, and I’ve noticed a lot of people walking through the building are very taken by that — this is a place that is uniquely ours.”

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Weather related announcements and updates

The University of South Carolina is monitoring the forecast for Hurricane Irma and coordinating with local and state agencies. As a state agency, the university follows the delay and closing determinations of Richland County government. University officials will continue to consult with state and local officials and any updates on potential cancellations or closings will be posted here, social media and Carolina Alerts. 

All students and employees are urged to register for Carolina Alert and update personal contact information at my.sc.edu/emergencyFor up-to-date weather alerts and other emergency notifications, follow Carolina Alert on Twitter and Facebook

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UofSC takes donations for Texas hurricane victims

As Gamecocks, we stand with those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, knowing all too well the hardship of historic flooding. In conjunction with the Columbia mayor’s office, City Council and a citywide relief effort, the University of South Carolina and Gamecock Athletics will be collecting items to send to the hurricane victims in Texas. The following donations will be accepted:

  • Cleaning supplies (bleach, bleach wipes, mops, gloves, clean rags)
  • Personal hygiene products (soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc.)

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community can drop off donations at two School of Law locations from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday, September 6. 

Look for boxes at the Main Lobby entrance to the Café, and in the locker area at the entrance to the Commons.

For more information about the drive, contact Ambra Yarbrough Hiott at ambrayar@mailbox.sc.edu. For media inquiries, contact Dana D’Haeseleer at ddhaesel@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-3691.

Summer job helps rising-3L follow immigration law path

Raus (top row, middle) stands with his co-workers, who he call his “work family.”

As the heated debate surrounding immigration continues, University of South Carolina School of Law third-year student Kevin Raus says he’s putting words into action.

“Once you strip away the politics from this issue, it becomes clear that immigration is a part of the law that affects everyone in separate ways,” says Raus.

This summer the Charlotte native worked at Gardner Law, a Raleigh-based firm that specializes in immigration issues. While he wasn’t sure the area of practice was right for him prior to his summer job, now he is certain it is the path he will pursue post-graduation.

It’s a path he says will be made easier thanks to the support and skills he’s learned during his time at the School of Law. From resume reviews at Career Services to networking events orchestrated by the school, Raus says South Carolina law has prepared him to reach for his goals. He says it even taught him that sometime failure is the best way to learn.

“I would research an issue, submit my work, and get most of it wrong. It hurt my pride at times, but I knew failure would only help me grow. Now, , given my learning experiences,

I am more confident than ever in my ability to succeed.”

His confidence has also grown in the immigration field. He says his “work family” at Gardner Law has been there along the way, encouraging him and helping him to be his best.

“This summer has taught me the many ins and outs of the immigration practice. There are many facets of working as an immigration attorney that one could easily glance over if not careful. Immigration attorneys have to work side-by-side many federal and state agencies to make sure their client receives the best possible outcome. My summer job has opened my eyes to the real-life workings of this complicated practice.”

The Coastal Law Field Lab wraps up first summer course

The first summer class of The Coastal Law Field Lab is in the books. Students completed the four-week, six-credit class on July 15, celebrating with an oyster roast. The unique field-centered class took place in Charleston, drawing law students from both Carolinas. 

The class was taught by renowned professors who are experts in the field: Solomon Blatt Professor of Law Josh Eagle—who wrote the casebook on coastal law— and Professor Nathan Richardson, both from the University of South Carolina School of Law, as well as Cinnamon Carlarne, an associate dean and professor of law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Each professor taught one of the three modules, respectively: Coastal Law, Climate Change and the Coast, and Coastal Energy Law. 

About half of the course was spent in the classroom. The rest of the course took place “in the field,” learning about important coastal, environmental, and energy law issues where they matter: on beaches and islands, in marshes, and at other sites emblematic of the environmental challenges in sustainable development. 

“The Coastal Law Field Lab is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for students who are interested in environmental law, real estate practice, or who want to immerse themselves into a new area of law through interactive learning,” says Prof. Eagle.

Twice a week, the class visited properties that have been at the heart of important litigation or that illustrate high-profile issues. At the sites, students met with guest speakers who provided unique insight into these problems. The speakers represented the range of professionals involved in the day-to-day practice of coastal law: state regulators, attorneys, geologists, ecologists, environmental representatives, and developers.

“I wanted to take the class because I was looking for a hands-on classroom experience. I learn best when I can actually interact with the material. I learned more in four weeks due to the connections that were solidified when moving from the classroom to the field lab,” says second-year University of South Carolina School of Law student Christy Schofer.

For other students who plan to pursue a career in environmental law, like second-year South Carolina Law student Pierce Werner, the class allowed him to meet experts and professionals working in the field every day. 

“The field labs not only give students the most hands-on way of experiencing the material that was covered in the classroom portion, but they also give the students a chance to network and get to know the lawyers that do practice in the field. I now have a list of people that I can call for advice or expert testimony,” says Werner.

In addition, the field lab included supplemental lectures on topics critical to good coastal lawyering such as coastal oceanography, environmental policy and economics, and alternative energy technology. The combination of legal coursework, interdisciplinary lectures, and eight issue-packed field labs gave students a comprehensive understanding of the coast, coastal issues, and the role that law and lawyers play in resolving those issues.

Werner says the class went beyond the law, connecting important scientific knowledge, something he enjoyed since his bachelor’s degree is in environmental science.

“This class was unlike any other class that you can take in law school. No other class can give you nearly as much exposure to the lawyers and subject areas of the practice that this course can provide. No other law class will allow you to learn about a property from a famous case while standing on the beach in front of that property,” says Werner. “Learning opportunity aside, you get to have a law school class on a beautiful beach—shoes optional.”

A week-long spring break course for University of South Carolina School of Law students focusing on coastal law will be offered in 2018 with plans to bring back the national summer course in 2019.

“I will recommend this class to anyone and everyone. The professors were phenomenal. To be able to interact with such knowledgeable people in such a small classroom setting is something that you don’t typically get in law school. It’s been amazing to be a part of it,” says Schofer.

Students give back to the community through 9th annual service project

The University of South Carolina School of Law welcomed 217 new first-year students for the first week of classes. All 1L students, along with their peer mentors and the Pro Bono Board members, worked at 14 different sites around the community, donating their time, energy and service to the greater Midlands area.

Faculty and staff joined the groups to lend their hand, as well as use the time to get to know the new students. This is the ninth year the School of Law has participated in a community service day. Groups worked at the following sites:

  • Homeworks
  • Disciplinary Counsel
  • Habitat ReStore
  • Harvest Hope Food Bank- Main
  • Harvest Hope Food Bank- Cayce
  • Lexington County Library- Cayce
  • Lexington County Library- Irmo
  • Protection and Advocacy
  • Richland County CASA
  • Richland County Public Defender’s Office
  • SC Appleseed Legal
  • SC Legal Services
  • St. Lawrence Place
  • Women’s Shelter

See pictures from the day here.

Law class of 2020 take student professionalism oath

The University of South Carolina School of Law welcomed the law class of 2020 on Thursday, Aug. 17. The 217 members of the class hail from 20 states- from Massachusetts to California- and earned degrees from 76 colleges and universities nationwide, including Florida State University, Indiana University Bloomington and University of Tennessee Knoxville.

The 2017 entering class will be the first to spend all three years in the new law center, and will enjoy the distinction of being 1Ls during the 150th anniversary year of the School of Law.  The class was selected from more than 1,300 applicants.

To end orientation, the new law class took their Student Professionalism Oath. South Carolina Bar Foundation President J. Rene Josey (1985) spoke at the event, and The Honorable John W. Kittredge (1982), Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court led students in the oath.

View pictures of the event here.

Law Student Professionalism Oath Ceremony 2017

The Honorable John W. Kittredge, Associate Justice, South Carolina Supreme Court Judge Karen J. Williams Courtroom


The 2018 application cycle begins September 1. Prospective law students can apply to the School of Law online through the Law School Admission Council. 

Interested students can call the Admissions Office to speak with an admissions representative or a student ambassador, set up a visit, take a tour, request scholarship information, or to find out if the University of South Carolina will be represented at a law school recruitment event on their campus or in their area this fall.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito to be the featured speaker at the School of Law’s dedication ceremony

The University of South Carolina School of Law will dedicate its new building during a private ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. 

The Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, will be the featured speaker at the university event, which recognizes the opening of the School of Law’s new home at 1525 Senate Street in Columbia.

The dedication coincides with the School of Law’s 150th anniversary. Parking will be available for invited guests in the Senate Street Garage located at the intersection of Pickens and Senate Streets.

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