Clinical approach


A young girl goes to the pediatrician with asthma symptoms and gets the treatment she needs but is back in the doctor’s office with the same symptoms two weeks later. The repeat visits
continue for months because toxic mold growing in her parents’ rental home won’t allow her to get better.

Determined to get to the root of the problem, the pediatrician consults a lawyer who convinces the landlord to remove the mold. The girl’s asthma symptoms improve, the frequent trips to the doctor come to a stop and family life gets better.

It might sound like fantasy, but that’s the kind of outcome administrators and faculty at the law school are hoping for with the new Carolina Health Advocacy Medicolegal PartnerShip (CHAMPS) Clinic that began this fall.

“We need to get at the social determinants of health — things like living conditions, transportation and income stability — because those have a big eff ect on a person’s health and wellbeing,” says Emily Suski, assistant professor of law and director of the CHAMPS Clinic.

“The main idea of this clinic is to train a new generation of doctors and lawyers to work together to improve health outcomes.”

Ten law students, four to six medical students, a master’s of social work student, several pediatric residents and physicians will work in teams on cases referred through pediatric clinics
staffed by the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group. Working under Suski’s supervision, the student teams will discuss the pertinent medical issues of each case and determine what legal
remedies might be available to address them.

In addition to the university’s law and medical schools, CHAMPS Clinic partners include Palmetto Health, the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group and S.C. Legal Services. The clinic began last fall and will be open regularly every spring semester thereafter.

“The students are going to be blown away,” says Caughman Taylor, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, which provides medical care at two pediatric clinics at Palmetto Health Richland. “They’re going to see how this delivery model can improve health and what a huge benefit it will be to have healthier children who grow up to become healthier adults.”

Suski has taught similar clinics at other institutions and says the students will first have to learn to meld their innate differences of perspective and professional lexicons. But once they begin to see results from their joint efforts, their enthusiasm will blossom, she says, pointing to a case from a medicolegal clinic she taught in Atlanta.

“We had a child who had a rare neurological disorder who ended up paralyzed; the parents split up because of the emotional strain; the mom lost her job because of missed time, then lost her
car and apartment. And all of that impacted the child’s health,” she says. “We were able to help her find a job, which helped them regain housing and a car. We also got the child eligible for Supplemental Security Income. That was satisfying.”

Along with improving health outcomes and promoting interdisciplinary cooperation, the  CHAMPS Clinic also holds potential for health and educational research, and opportunities
abound for collaboration with other campus partners, Suski says.

“I’m open to the idea of bringing in psychology and public health students. There’s rich potential here,” she says.

Taylor affirms that notion, pointing to the future. “We’re bringing together professions that haven’t always collaborated,” he says. “Just think what those individuals can do when, say, a
doctor in a rural community teams up with a lawyer in the same community who agrees to take on a few pro bono cases every year. That could be huge. I can’t wait to kick this off.”


When Lisa Martin arrived at the School of Law this past summer, she brought more than 10 years of experience in the law school clinical world in addition to several years as
an attorney advocating for teen victims of domestic violence.

The director of the new Domestic Violence Clinic envisions two goals for the program. “I see us involved in seeking emergency relief through domestic violence protection orders and addressing other issues that keep people in abusive relationships they otherwise would want to leave, such as financial insecurity and immigration status. I also see us engaged in broader initiatives such as community education projects so that people know what their legal rights are,” she says.

Martin’s interest in domestic violence issues began in law school when she worked in an international human rights clinic. After graduation, she took on as much pro bono work as possible in areas of domestic and family violence. She later joined the staff of a nonprofit teen violence prevention organization before joining the law faculty at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

“It’s satisfying to be able to teach about domestic violence, but even more so that I’m able to make a difference by training law students who will later take on pro bono cases in this arena,” Martin says.

Fellow law professor Eboni Nelson serves as board president of SisterCare in Columbia, an organization that partners with women in abusive relationships. She hopes a collaboration will
form with the new clinic when it launches this spring.

“There is a dearth of advocates for this kind of work,” Nelson says. “The clinic will train future generations of those who will go into this full time and those who will do this as pro bono work.”

A family (legal) affair

It’s a family affair that started more than 100 years ago, when Clint Graydon graduated from the University of South Carolina law program in 1913. Now, his legacy and name carry on in his great-grandson, Clint Wallace, one of the School of Law’s newest faculty members.

Bridging the gap between the generations was Sarah McCrory, Graydon’s daughter, Wallace’s grandmother, and a 1944 alumna. In her graduating class of 10, she was one of two women. But upon reflection, she said she didn’t think being a woman in law school, even in the 1940s, was that special. Her father told her she could do anything as long as she worked for it.

“I thought I might be governor one day, or maybe even president,” said McCrory.

Her love for political science and government enticed her to attend law school, and her fondest memories during her time here included learning from some of the country’s top legal professors. Her favorite professor was a peer of her father’s and a prominent figure in the School of Law’s history—Coleman Karesh.

“I adored Coleman Karesh. And he gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received. He told me I had a mind like my father’s,” she said. “And that is a great compliment because Clint Graydon was a brilliant attorney, not just in South Carolina, but across the country.”

Shortly after graduation, she married and raised fi ve children. She worked at her father’s law firm, assisting with probate work in Richland County. But she found a different calling after her
father passed in 1962. He left behind hundreds of boxes filled with thousands of cases in their basement.

“I spent the whole of a winter in the basement, going through
those boxes,” McCrory said. “There were about 10,000 law files.
By the time I finished, I decided there was plenty in there for a

That’s when she wrote “Clint and Raven: A Lawyer and His
Lady,” a book about her parents, the brilliant defense attorney
and his gracious hostess wife. Since her first book, she’s written
and published 27 more.

While her career path was far from that of a traditional lawyer, she said the skills and passions she developed at South Carolina Law helped her in her new career: “I love doing the research. And I just love figuring out what was going on back then. I love history.”

Clint Wallace, for his part, said it was an easy decision to return to his roots. After attending law school and starting a career in New York, the tax law professor accepted a position at South Carolina Law in the summer of 2017 — 77 years after his grandmother began her time at the same institution.

“I knew about the history of this law school producing people who I really look up to in my family,” Wallace said, “but then walking into this new building, you can just feel the energy and that people are excited about the school, about Columbia and about the state.”

He said it’s a bar and legal community that feels close-knit and welcoming — much like a family. And as he settles in with his new extended family, he said perhaps the sweetest treat was
being able to walk around the new law school building with his 97-year-old grandmother, listening to the stories and history of her life and the man from whom he gets his name.

“This spot connects to so many events in the past, not just in my family, but in the history of this state,” he said. “And this school has been in the middle of so many of those historical legal
events and now we’re physically in the middle, looking towards the legal future.”

*Sadly, Sarah McCrory died on October 24, 2017, just months after her grandson arrived on campus. We interviewed her in July for this story.

Beyond the border

The University of South Carolina School of Law’s impact extends well beyond the state of South Carolina and even the country. In fact, alumni and students are planting South Carolina Law flags all around the world.

For 2017 law graduate Whitney Kamerzel, the school’s global reach is the reason she chose to attend the School of Law in the first place. The Florida Keys native knew she wanted to practice
law in the South, but also wanted to be a part of an international legal practice.

“USC Law was able to give me that early. We have professors who have worked for organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank and who have important connections all over the world. I knew the international law program would prepare me for a successful career.”

Kamerzel started early, connecting with professors like Aparna Polavarapu, who teaches Comparative Law, Rule of Law, Transnational Law, and International Human Rights Law, as well as Joel Samuels, a professor and director of the University’s Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC). She secured a position as a research assistant, and spent her first summer and second year researching human rights issues in Uganda. In her third year, she became an important member of ROLC.

“I continued taking classes that expanded my interests in international law. During my 3L year, ROLC hired me to help them train U.S. government officials on rule of law promotion in developing countries.”

When it came time to graduate, Kamerzel accepted a position as a business litigation associate at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Charlotte, North Carolina. But she says it was the advice of a trusted teacher that opened her mind to an additional opportunity.

“My mentor, Prof. Samuels, pointed out to me that my first activity after law school should be to work pro bono. I realized he was right. In terms of practicing international law and giving back to the community, I wanted an experience that would set the stage for my career in the future.”

Through ROLC, Kamerzel was able to get connected with attorneys in Cambodia who were looking to fill a professional volunteer position for a human rights nongovernmental organization that specializes in indigenous and rights. After taking the bar exam, she was placed in Phnom Penh for two months, before beginning her work in North Carolina.

“Our job was to work with the local communities to find resolutions for human rights abuses that were caused by foreign businesses. A large part of my job was to brainstorm alternative
methods of corporate compliance since most international schemes are voluntary.”

It was the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between the work law school had prepared her for and the precipice of her professional legal career.

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of my law school professors and the Rule of Law Collaborative. And my work in Cambodia had a creative element that constantly challenged my brain. Since the ball never stopped rolling, it was a smooth transition to practicing law in the U.S.”

Carmen Jackson, a third-year student, also saw an opportunity to use her legal education to make a difference on the international stage. As the global refugee crisis continues to grow, she knew that the need for lawyers and volunteers to help them was also on the rise. So, she spent the summer “down under,” assisting refugees who had fled to Australia.

After a three-week primer in Australian law, she worked at the Asylum Seekers Resource Center, taking statements from refugees and processing their cases.

“It was really difficult at first. Because the department is so hard on their claims, it wasn’t realistic that everybody was going to be able to get help from us. There were times when I had to go into an office and tell someone that we could help them draft a letter, but that we couldn’t take on their case or provide them with full assistance,” Jackson said. “I would ask the barristers if it ever got any easier, but they said that you just got used to it.”

Despite the difficulties, Jackson says the life-changing experience helped her realize her future — and how she will be able to use her South Carolina Law degree to aid refugees here in the United States.

“Refugees are all around us in America; they are not a far removed concept. No matter your political beliefs about refugee laws and policies, remaining informed is critical to dialogue that
brings about change,” says Jackson. “I think that going abroad helped me to see that the decision to enter the legal profession is one that has the potential to afford endless opportunities both domestically and abroad.

“The fact that I was able to sit across the table from people who had come from such persecution and yet still had a smile of gratitude beaming across their face was humbling in the
truest sense of the word. I will remember their faces and their gratefulness forever.”

At long last

“We have been waiting for today since September 18, 1998, when Dean John Montgomery appointed a nine-person committee, chaired by Professor Phil Lacy, to begin the design of a new law school building,” said Dean Rob Wilcox, beginning his speech at the dedication ceremony for the School of Law’s new home.

Then, turning to University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, he continued tongue-in-cheek, “Nineteen years later, Mr. President, I am pleased to report on behalf of the committee that we have completedour work, and we submit this building as our final report.”

While the building has been long in coming, in the end its arrival couldn’t have been timed more perfectly, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the law school’s founding. The ceremony was held on Thursday, Sept. 14, and the audience of more than 600 who came to celebrate the ribbon-cutting included alumni, university and community officials, and some of the most esteemed members of the state’s and nation’s legal community.

Among the speakers were the Honorable Donald W. Beatty, ’79, chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court; William C. Hubbard, ’77, a university trustee and former president of the American Bar Association; Henry McMaster, ’73, governor of South Carolina; Stephen Benjamin, ’94, mayor of the City of Columbia; and President Pastides.

The Honorable Samuel A. Alito, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, delivered the keynote address, reflecting on the building’s architecture, and complimenting
its ability to link to the past, look to the present and connect to the world beyond.

“Federal-style buildings were designed for a new republic populated by independent citizens with the hardy virtues required for self-government,” Alito said. “And the new law school building, by invoking [South Carolina architect Robert] Mills, links the school to the state’s cultural history and to our nation’s founding ideals. In this way, the building respects the past, but its focus is plainly on the future.”

Each speaker, in turn, addressed the school’s long legacy, the achievements of its remarkable alumni and the current and future generations of students who will take that legacy to new
heights — thanks in no small part to the excellent education they will receive in this new state-of-the-art facility.

After noting that the benches of some of the state’s most important courts are composed entirely of graduates from South Carolina Law, Chief Justice Beatty looked out at the audience
and said, “You should know when entering the University of South Carolina School of Law, you are entering one of the best institutions and facilities in the country.”

Reflecting on the law school’s previous homes, Pastides said, “Each move was made not only to be in a better building, but to accelerate our excellence. This building, that is an anchor to the
South Carolina legal corridor, exemplifies the excellence that we seek. Mediocrity simply cannot exist in excellent places like this.”

Indeed, the new building marks a milestone in the law school’s history, a moment to which all alumni can point with pride, and a turning point for how legal education is taught in South Carolina now, and for the next 150 years.

Meet our new 2017-2018 faculty members

Assistant Professor
Cross drafted revisions to the Affordable Care Act — as well as the proposal for its replacement — in his previous role as assistant counsel in the Office of the Legislative Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives. As a South Carolina Law professor, he will share his knowledge and first-hand accounts of his experiences to students taking his Legislation, Health Law, and Conflict of Laws courses.

Assistant Professor
As the newest clinical professor, Martin will spearhead the Domestic Violence Clinic at South Carolina Law. She brings more than 10 years of law school clinical experience as the former co-director of the Families and the Law Clinic and director of the experiential curriculum at the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. Martin will also teach a related seminar course and Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation.

Assistant Professor
Wallace, who teaches Income Tax and Corporate Tax, joins South Carolina Law from the New York University School of Law, where he was an acting assistant professor of tax law. Prior to that he was an associate with Caplin & Drysdale, where he counseled on various aspects of federal income taxation, with a particular focus on U.S. international tax issues.

Reference Librarian
Brackmann joins a team of 12 faculty members devoted to South Carolina Law’s intensive Legal Research, Analysis and Writing program, which inculcates these critical skills in first-year students. He received his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati and his M.S.L.I.S. from
the University of Illinois. His previous appointment was as the electronic resources librarian at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.


Acquisitions and Electronic
Resources Librarian
Before taking on her current role, Brown was the access services assistant at the Law Library.

Catalog and Serials Librarian
Bullington previously worked at USC’s South Caroliniana Library.

Access Services Librarian
Kretschmar previously worked at USC’s Thomas Cooper Library.

Megan, Amanda and Andrew have close ties
to USC, graduating with M.L.I.S. degrees from
the School of Library and Information Science.

Our 150th Anniversary


South Carolina College was chartered in 1801 and opened in 1805 as the state’s first venture into public higher education. At that time, some American universities had begun professorships of law, but law schools did not yet exist as separate departments. Harvard formed a law school in 1817, but the apprentice system continued to be the principal method of educating attorneys. A professorship of law was first authorized in 1820 at Carolina but was not implemented until 1867. By this time, there were only 30 law schools in the United States.

Alexander Cheves Haskell, Carolina’s first professor of law, held his first class on October 7, 1867, in what is now the South Caroliniana Library. The class of two students graduated in June 1868. Haskell resigned in November to become a judge, and the law program remained closed for the remainder of that academic year.


From 1873 to 1877, South Carolina College was the only southern state university to admit and grant degrees to African-American students. Eleven African Americans are known to have graduated with law degrees between 1874 and 1877. The first was Walter Raleigh Jones. Another, Richard T. Greener, was also the first African-American faculty member at the university.

In 1877, Carolina closed, reopening in 1880 as a segregated school. It would remain so until 1964. The School of Law’s future steadied in 1884 with the appointment of Col. Joseph Daniel Pope to the professorship of law. Pope had read law under James L. Petigru and from 1884 to 1900, he taught the entire law curriculum. Under his influence, the School of Law was recognized in 1891 as a separate department and was moved from the library to the first floor of Legare College.

During this period, admission standards for the law school were almost identical to those for incoming freshmen, the only difference being the age requirement. Law school applicants had to be at least 19, while college freshmen could enroll as young as 15.


The early 20th century saw a series of “firsts” that would have a tremendous impact on the School of Law, including breaking new ground for its first building, educational programs and
both the size and composition of its student body.

In 1900, Pope was named the first dean of the School of Law, and by 1906, the law faculty had grown to three. Enrollment increased from 32 students in 1907 to 75 students in 1917. It was during this time that the course of study was expanded to two years, and the case method of teaching was adopted. A century later, it continues to be the most prevalent style of legal classroom education.

Claudia James Sullivan became the first female graduate of the School of Law in 1918, but despite her groundbreaking achievement, women remained very much the exception for nearly another half century.

In 1919, Petigru College (now Currell College) became the first separate law school, built at a cost of $40,000. In 1923, the School of Law required all applicants to have completed at least one year of college. In 1924, the School of Law, its faculty now numbering six, was accepted as a member of the Association of American Law Schools and in 1925 was accredited by the American Bar Association. That same year, the admission requirement was raised to completion of two years of college, and the curriculum was expanded to a full three-year course.

Two prestigious student organizations, which continue today, had their origins in the School of Law in the 1930s. In 1935, two students created the Order of the Wig and Robe, initially honoring seven seniors and five juniors who had attained the highest academic averages. Today, the Order continues to recognize the top second-year and third-year law students.

In 1937, the Year Book of the Selden Society began publication as the voice of an organization formed in 1933 to promote interest in “legal history and the scholarly aspects of
the legal profession among law students.” Over time, it evolved into a more traditional academic journal, becoming the South Carolina Law Quarterly in 1948 and the South Carolina Law Review in 1962.

In 1938, the School of Law ushered in the birth of experiential learning, creating the nation’s first practice court program under Judge Marcellus Whaley, a professor at the school from 1937 to 1950.


Some living alumni might remember a time when law school classes were all white and almost all male. Seeds of change were planted in the 1940s and blossomed into permanent changes
two decades later.

In 1940, Sarah Leverette entered the law school as one of only three female students. She was the only one to graduate and went on to become the school’s first female faculty member.

In 1946, an African American named John H. Wrighten applied for, and was denied, admission to the School of Law. He sued the university, and in Wrighten v. Board of Trustees of University of South Carolina, the U.S. District Court ordered that the state either admit African Americans to the University of South Carolina School of Law or to another school with equal facilities or not operate a law school at all. Subsequently, a law school was opened for non-white students at South Carolina State College. It was closed in 1966, just three years after Carolina re-integrated following nearly 100 years of segregation.

In June 1967, Jasper Cureton, later a judge on the S.C. Court of Appeals, became the first African-American graduate of the School of Law since Reconstruction. In 2004, Burnele V. Powell became the first African American to serve as dean of the School of Law; in 2017, Chelsea Evans was named the first African-American editor-in-chief of the South Carolina Law Review; and 20 percent of the entering class in fall 2017 were minority students.

At a cost of $250,000, the second Petigru College opened in 1950 and featured such modern amenities as a practice court, cubicles in which students could type without disturbing others, and a library large enough to hold its 40,000 volumes. In 1953, air conditioning was added.

However, the student population boomed in the decades that followed, growing from 173 students in 1960 to 496 in 1970, forcing the School of Law to once again seek a new home. The
Law Center at 701 Main Street was dedicated in 1974, with Lewis F. Powell Jr., associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Vice President Gerald R. Ford as featured speakers.

Unfortunately, the $5.9 million building didn’t anticipate the sweeping changes that would soon be coming, and many amenities were noticeably absent, including technological capacity and women’s bathrooms. The computer revolution was still some ways off, but it was during the 1970s that women finally began to constitute a significant percentage of the law student population, growing from only a handful in the Class of 1970 to nearly 50 women in the Class of 1980. The entering class in fall 2017 was 46 percent female.

The School of Law was in the vanguard of perhaps the biggest change in legal education in a generation, creating one of the nation’s first clinical programs. But it was another area that
had not been anticipated, leaving less than adequate space over the next 40 years for a program that operates much like a law firm. Now, during a time when experiential learning is receiving new emphasis nationally, the School of Law clinics enjoy a far more appropriate space with more than 4,600 square feet of offices, work areas and interview rooms.

During the 1980s, the School of Law began one of its most cherished traditions, the outdoor graduation on the Horseshoe. It was also awarded a chapter in the Order of the Coif.

In 1989, the School of Law developed the nation’s first voluntary law school Pro Bono Program, which was later selected as one of President George H.W. Bush’s thousand points of light. With more than 20 volunteer opportunities, it continues today under the guidance of its first director,
Pamela D. Robinson. And in 1995, the Children’s Law Center was created to promote policies in the best interests of children, and provide continuous child protection advocacy training for the state’s legal community.


Today, the School of Law continues to provide excellent legal training to its students through myriad opportunities found nowhere else, such as the London Maymester program created
in 2004 and the Konduros Leadership Program developed in 2015.

With more than 50 full-time faculty, students can choose from more than 100 upper-level courses, 12 dual-degree programs, and a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including clinics, externships and capstone courses.

New faculty have been strategically hired to strengthen specialty law areas including health law, law and technology, small business practice, environmental law and children’s law.

Our alumni are more than 10,000 strong and can be found all across the globe. They are our greatest resource to provide for the future of this school now and in the years to come. We
celebrate all of this along with our new building, which opened this summer.

While it is the fourth university building constructed specifically for the school, it is the first School of Law building to have the name of the school engraved in stone above
its entrance. As such, it opens with a permanence of presence and
purpose not always associated with the three previous law school

No single descriptor adequately captures the new building. It is traditional in its classical exterior design, reflecting in important ways the influence of 19th century architect Robert Mills. Yet it offers a fresh and modern interior style, with copious amounts of glass and natural light. Its construction materials are a durable blend of brick, limestone and granite, but its hallmark is its flexibility of design, allowing it to adapt nimbly as legal education changes in the years

Indeed, the School of Law has transformed itself into a living educational space. But more importantly, it will continue to lead the way in which legal education is taught in our state and in our nation for the next 150 years.

Dean’s Message

Founded in 1867, the University of South Carolina School of Law is one of the nation’s oldest law schools.”

This was the first sentence emblazoned on many materials the law school published back when I was a student from 1978-1981, and it was still in use when I became a professor in 1986. As dean, I vowed to change that, to banish these words from being our introduction to the public. Yes, it showed that we had a rich heritage, and certainly there is something to be said for such a solid legacy. But it didn’t reflect our school today.

It didn’t convey the innovation that has been a hallmark of our academic programs; or the excellence of our faculty whose scholarship and teaching is breaking new ground and exploring solutions to some of our most complex problems; or the power of our alumni and students to effect change both in our state and on the other side of the world. In short, it didn’t fully tell our story.

In this issue, we wanted to tell more of that story, not only by reflecting on our past, but also celebrating our future.

And what a future it is. As you know, we turned 150 this year, and we began the next 150 by moving into our magnificent new home. We were honored to have Justice Samuel A. Alito of the United States Supreme Court deliver the address during the dedication ceremony, and delighted to have more than 500 attend our 150th celebration that same evening.

As we put together our sesquicentennial story, it was certainly amazing to see how far we’ve come, and even more so to realize how often this law school has been a national leader in legal education.

That tradition continues today with an emphasis on experiential learning for our students, including new domestic violence and medicolegal partnership clinics. We’re proud to expand our clinical offerings, especially in two such vital areas of importance—areas that exemplify our mission of serving the needs of this state, and improving the lives of its citizens.

Our focus on service is truly a part of the culture of today’s law school. More importantly, however, it stays with our students even after they have graduated. We highlight in this issue stories of students and alumni who have traveled abroad to improve the lives of others, from helping refugees in Australia to assisting with indigenous land right issues in Cambodia.

And finally, you’ll meet our newest faculty members, including Clint Wallace, who has ties to this school that go back over a century. We were fortunate to interview him with his grandmother, Sarah McCrory ’44, before she passed away in October

This year, more than any other, I have been reminded how special our school is. And I know that we wouldn’t be where we are today without you, our alumni. Thank you. We’re glad you are part of our story.