Five Questions with Hal Cobb (’12)

Hal Cobb (’12), a Senior Partner at Cobb Dill and Hammett, LLC, spoke to the Transactional Law Team at Charleston School of Law during a lunch-and-learn event on campus today.

Charleston School of Law sat down with Cobb after the class to learn more about his experience as a student, his law career and wisdom for the next generation of legal professionals.

How many attorneys work at the firm?

Cobb: “We’re at 20 right now and 18 out of 20 lawyers graduated from Charleston School of Law. I’m a big fan of using Charleston Law graduates. I’m very proud to be one of the largest employers of school grads. I have a lot of gratitude for President Bell. I think Charleston School of Law is a rock-solid school.”

What are the qualities, the foundational qualities, that Charleston Law students consistently bring to your firm?

Cobb: “I look for three things: Number one, grades mattered to me. I need somebody that can understand that there’s multitasking needs — I like the analogy of plate spinning — to constantly be spinning the plates and if you mess up, it can all tumble down. When someone has bad grades, I think, they need to work on their ability to plate spin.

And by giving them a job I’m taking away time, they could be working to, you know, get, get that, get that strength up and. That is why grades matter to me. The second thing I look for is experience, Not experienced in terms of work experience, but where they’re from … I’ve seen people that have military backgrounds. I’ve seen people that have worked in fast food. I’ve seen people that have worked for other law firms, but I’m always curious about their path. The experience gives me a chance to kind of figure them out a little bit more. The third thing is personality. I really try to run a ‘no drama’ firm. We’re dealing with all our client’s drama, so we don’t want to have drama within our own walls; it’s deeper than that. It’s genuineness. We need to have people that care about the client because a client will sniff that out in a heartbeat, and you can lose client quickly.”

What were the key takeaways that you hoped students learned from today’s class?

Cobb: “There’s no such thing as just transactional law and a checklist and you’re done. It’s fluid; it evolves; it pivots. The importance of knowing the people involved, the motivation, the goals, and understanding that it’s just not closing a single transaction, but it’s really the relationship. I want them to understand that and hopefully it will make them better lawyers.”

Why do you come back and teach?

Cobb: “I think the practitioners help balance out the classroom experience and what is learned from a textbook. School is a means to an end and the end is to practice law. My hope is that practitioners can kind of shine a light on what happens next — after school — and keeps students on their path. Once they do get out of school, and specifically when they pass the bar, that is what matters most (passing the bar).”

Why Charleston School of Law?

Cobb: “It’s almost unfair. Our school, our professors, our administration is fantastic. But the thing that really makes our school distinct, quite frankly, is Charleston. It is the best place in the world. I think it matters where you can be the happiest at the end of the day. And Charleston is just a place that’s always made me happy. Life is more than just going to school. It’s about experiences and quality of life. I’m biased, but Charleston has the best quality of life possible. We’re in a great location.”

Cobb earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from The Citadel (’92) and his Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina (’97). He is a 2012 graduate of Charleston School of Law and is a member of the school’s founding board.

Cobb also serves on the South Carolina Bar’s Corporate, Banking & Securities Counsel and is an active member of the South Carolina Bar and Colorado Bar.

For more information about Hal Cobb and Cobb Dill and Hammett, LLC, visit them online at cdhlawfirm.com.

ABOUT CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF LAW

The Charleston School of Law is an ABA-accredited law school nationally recognized for its student-centric culture. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing you for success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.

Quick facts about Charleston School of Law

  • The Princeton Review ranks Charleston School of Law professors second in the country for faculty accessibility (2021)
  • Charleston School of Law faculty ranked among the top of The Princeton Review’s list of Best Professors in the nation (2016-2018)
  • Experiential Learning: Charleston School of Law students have access to about more than 150 externship sites, creating opportunities for experiential learning in the legal field.
  • Community Service: Charleston School of Law students have performed more than 241,000 community service hours (2004-current).
  • Students have won the National Tax Moot Court Championship for seven consecutive years (2012-2018)
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