Dynamic Curriculum

Externship Program

The Charleston School of Law Externship Program provides its students with a unique, real-world experience outside of the classroom. Through the Externship Program, students gain practical experience in a variety of legal professions, while earning academic credit.

The externship experience (a) assists students in exploring a particular area of interest of their choice at a field-placement site, (b) exposes students to the operation of the legal system, (c) enhances students’ practical skills, such as, communication, research and writing, and (d) enhances students’ personal skills such as poise and confidence.

Additionally, externships provide students with the opportunity to meet and work with members of the legal bar and their staff, which relationships may prove invaluable as the students pursue employment.

Example sites:

Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Coastal Carolina University General Counsel

South Carolina Attorney General’s Office

U.S. District Court

Family Court

The Nature Conservancy

Volvo Cars USA

Pro Bono Program

As part of the Charleston School of Law’s mission to instill within its students a commitment to public service, students are required to complete 30 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation. Students complete law-related work under the supervision of licensed attorneys practicing in the public interest legal sector.

Example sites:

ACLU South Carolina National Office

Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services

Charleston Animal Society

Georgia Legal Services

Southern Environmental Law Center

Public Defender’s Office

Solicitor’s Office

Probate Court

Practice Area Designations & Tracks

The Charleston School of Law places an emphasis on a broad and varied foundation in the substantive law and in the skills essential to effective legal practice. Students may build on this foundation by exploring curriculum tracks in a particular practice area.

In addition to following a subject-specific curriculum track, the faculty determined in spring 2020 that students may also be eligible for a qualifying designation on their transcript in three practice areas: Criminal PracticePublic Policy and Service, or Civil Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Finally, if a student is interested in another practice area other than those predetermined tracks or designated practice areas, they are encouraged to work with the administration to determine which courses to take as well as secure externship and pro bono placements at relevant sites.

Tracks:

Bar Prep Program

The Charleston School of Law has an exclusive agreement with BARBRI to provide an increasingly comprehensive program for bar preparation and bar review. As part of the program, students receive course review books, a bar prep class during their third-year, enrollment in the BARBRI bar prep course after graduation, and access to all of BARBRI’s online resources. In addition the Office of Academic and Bar Success works with students on an individual basis throughout law school.

Part-time Program

The part-time program is designed for students who wish to take a reduced load of classes during law school. Required classes for students enrolled in the part-time program are offered during the day. There are no restrictions on students working while enrolled in the part-time program, and first-year students are offered some flexibility, albeit limited, in their course schedule. The standard course load for part-time students is 8-12 credit hours per semester, and it typically takes four years to complete the program.

Curriculum Overview

The Charleston School of Law curriculum is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the law and to enable them to be effective legal professionals. The program of study reflects the demands of the profession for a meaningful educational experience that incorporates history, technology, ethics and professionalism, and evolving trends and future challenges. The educational curriculum is designed to qualify graduates for admission to the South Carolina Bar and other states as well as to prepare them to participate effectively and responsibly in the legal profession. Development of problem solving skills, research skills, efficiency, consistency, competency, and professionalism are primary objectives of the Charleston School of Law curriculum.

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