Charleston School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


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 students for success in the legal profession.

Yes, it's our mission; but it's also a promise to our students - and parents. Our success begins and ends with our student's success.

Our curriculum is grounded in the fundamentals and the practical legal skills required to serve in the legal profession.

Our Mission:

  • To teach students the practice of law as a profession through a rigorous, skill-based program.
  • To teach, having as its chief aim providing public service.
  • To institute and coordinate legal outreach programs to the South Carolina and American Bars, local, state, and federal governments, as well as to the general population.
  • To provide an inclusive, diverse environment in which to encourage and foster collegial, collaborative, and professional relationships among students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Your Education:

Charleston School of Law students learn in two distinct settings:

  1. In the Classroom: The classroom is a special place. It's our version of a laboratory; a space where we learn, test, and challenge each other. Our faculty are experienced, passionate legal professionals with a heart for teaching. You will learn. You will serve. You will grow - personally and professionally.
  2. Beyond the Classroom: We believe one of the cornerstones of successful learning outcomes is hands-on experience. Our Externship Program and pro bono opportunities opens new doors and inspires a deep passion for serving others through the legal profession.

Charleston, South Carolina:

Charleston, South Carolina.

History. Culture. Hospitality.

Yes, it is all of those things - and more. For those of us who call Charleston "home," we like to include the warm, sandy beaches, great Southern cuisine and a gentle summer breeze that typically lasts year-round.

It is also the home of the Charleston School of Law, ranked the No. 1 City in America by well-known national publications year-in and year-out. We invite you to come visit us and see for yourself why Charleston is considered second to none.

Learn more about Charleston School of Law

The JD Program

Charleston School of Law is dedicated to preparing students to provide public service while pursuing productive and responsible careers in the legal profession. Students study law in a collegial learning environment. The faculty is nationally renowned for its outstanding professors—a testament to the school’s student­-centered focus. 

The Charleston School of Law offers a course of study with full-time and part-time enrollment options leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. It is expected that students enrolled in full-time credits will graduate in three years and students enrolled in part-time credits will graduate in four years. Students accepted for the spring will begin classes in early January. Full-time students who enroll in the spring semester will be on track to graduate in 2.5 years; spring start students are required to take summer courses during their first summer of enrollment. 

In addition to fulfilling required courses, all students are required to perform a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono legal service, attend 18 of the Professional Identity Formation Series lectures, and complete the the experiential courses requirement prior to graduation.

Learn more about the JD program at Charleston School of Law

Clinics

The Charleston School of Law has partnered with community organizations to create clinics that support families in need of legal representation. 

Our two new clinics — the Charleston Pro Bono Housing Clinic and the Homeless Justice Project Clinic — are supporting low-income families in need of housing and public assistance. With the assistance from our community partners at Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services and One80 Place we are able to provide valuable resources and support.

In addition, the Charleston School of Law clinics offer current law students with the opportunity to learn and serve throughout the community.

Externships

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

The externship experience:

  • assists students in exploring a particular area of interest of their choice at a field-placement site
  • exposes students to the operation of the legal system 
  • enhances students’ practical skills, such as, communication, research and writing
  • 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 may prove invaluable as the students pursue employment. Students have access to over a hundred pre-approved sites, but they are not limited to only those externships that are pre-approved.

Pro Bono Program

Charleston School of Law has developed pro bono opportunities for students. These placements allow students to work with attorneys practicing in the public interest legal sector and meet or exceed the 50 hours of pro bono work the School of Law requires for graduation.

Study Abroad

Students have the opportunity to discover new locales and meet foreign officials while earning credits from ABA-accredited law schools. 

Charleston School of Law is currently co-sponsoring study abroad opportunities with Stetson Law in two locations:    

  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • Granada, Spain

Student Life

Experiential Learning

Charleston School of Law experiential learning opportunities sends students from the classroom to the front lines of the professional legal system. This experience provides the next generation of legal professionals with practical, hands-on experience. Our students participate in externships, internships, pro bono service, clinics, and community service projects. Students have access to hundreds of pre-approved sites and can work individually with the school to create new placements that are of particular interest to that individual student. 

Student Activities

Students have the opportunity to work on the publication of three law reviews or journals. A student board publishes the Charleston Law Review on a quarterly basis. Students may also work on MALABU: Maritime Law Bulletin, which is published for the maritime legal community, and Resolved: Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which is an e-­publication published by the School of Law’s Center for Dispute Resolution.

Students also have the opportunity to compete and participate in two advocacy programs, Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Board. Students have won or placed in several competitions. In 2017, for the sixth year in a row, a team of students from the School of Law won the National Tax Moot Court Competition.

The school has more than 35 active student organizations, including Black Law Students Association, Business Law Society, Sports Law and Entertainment Society, Criminal Law Society, International Law, Healthcare Law Society, and Women in Law. Charleston School of Law students also have the opportunity to become members of the South Carolina Bar, Charleston County Bar Association, and Federal Bar Association Law Student Division.

Life in Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina.

History. Culture. Hospitality. Southern charm.

Yes, it is all of those things – and more. For those of us who call Charleston “home,” we like to include the warm, sandy beaches, great Southern cuisine and a gentle summer breeze that typically lasts year-round.

We invite you to come visit us and see for yourself why Charleston is considered second to none.

With its diverse economy, rich cultural heritage, thriving tourist industry, and natural amenities, Charleston—home to one of the nation’s busiest ports—is a hub of activity. The city is attractive, fun, and consistently named one of the best places in the country to live, work, and learn. The city is home to other institutions of higher education, including the Medical University of South Carolina, The Citadel, and the College of Charleston. The more than 700,000­person metropolitan area is served by a strong program of cultural activities. Spoleto Festival USA, an internationally renowned arts festival of opera, dance, music, and theater, draws more than 70,000 people to the city each summer. Visitors and residents delight in Charleston’s nationally recognized restaurants, vibrant nightlife, walks along the historic Battery, tours of historic homes, boating, sailing, golf, and beachcombing on nearby Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, or Kiawah Island.

Housing

The Charleston School of Law does not offer on­-campus housing. Charleston offers many options for off-­campus living. Whether students opt to live in the downtown historic district, at one of the nearby beaches, or in one of the many convenient neighborhoods and communities, they will find that carriage houses, apartments, or rental houses are available. The Office of Admission works with incoming students to find housing in the Charleston area.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Career Placement

The Department of Career Services provides a wide range of career development services for Charleston School of Law students and creates opportunities to connect students with employers in an efficient and supportive manner. The department serves as a liaison between students and legal employers. Staff members offer individual career counseling and assistance with job application materials, as well as programming on career-­related issues. The department coordinates the on­-campus interview program, forwards job application materials to employers, posts positions, and participates in national and regional career fairs. The department also works with alumni seeking employment opportunities.

The Department of Career Services is available to assist students in finding employment while enrolled in law school, as well as summer employment and full­time, permanent employment upon graduation. The Charleston area provides myriad opportunities for part-­time employment while students are enrolled in their second and third years of law school.

The Charleston School of Law prepares students for careers in all areas of legal practice. Regardless of a student’s path after graduation, the School of Law strives to instill in students the value of public service. The director of public service and pro bono within the Department of Career Services develops and supports pro bono opportunities and provides guidance to students in their selection of pro bono work.

Bar Passage

The Office of Academic and Bar Success is dedicated to supporting students’ success from the day they start at the law school through the bar examination. The office oversees programming that is integrated into the curriculum such as orientation, writing programs, and bar preparation. We work collaboratively with Charleston School of Law faculty and staff to meet the needs of the students.  The office also provides individual academic counseling and support for students. We work closely with students who want extra help and are always available for one-on-one meetings.

  1. Orientation

Our four-day orientation program prepares new law students with the skills they need to succeed in a law school environment. 

  1. Foundations for Professional Success

This course is split between Academic Success and the Office of Career Services. Our goal is to ensure that students have all of the skills they need to be effective in classes and to set themselves up for success when they begin looking for clerkships.

  1. Academic Skills

This one-credit hour course is offered in the second semester of a student’s first year of law school. We use this as an opportunity to help students with law school style essay writing, multiple choice questions, and other skills necessary for their success.

  1. Legal Skills

This is a two-credit hour second-year course that focuses on the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The MPT is 20% of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and consists of lawyer-like tasks including drafting memorandums, briefs, and performing legal analysis. We focus on the best way to approach and succeed on the MPT as well as on how it ties into legal practice.

  1. Bar Preparation

This is a three-credit hour third-year course, best taken the semester immediately prior to graduation. In this course, we focus on the approach for the multiple choice (MBE) and essay (MEE) portions of the bar exam. The course also covers in detail what bar study is, how to be successful, and ensures students are ready to hit the ground running after graduation.

  1. Post-Graduation Bar Support

All incoming students have the cost of a BARBRI Bar Review course built into their tuition; this means that everyone has a full-service course to guide them through bar study. On top of that, we offer weekly Writing Workshops for students to receive feedback as well as review sessions run by our faculty. Graduates will have support throughout the entire bar preparation process.

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at Charleston School of Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$42,340.00
Fees
$1,034.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$24,232.00

The Charleston School of Law Office of Admission primarily offers merit scholarship, which are based an applicant's LSAT score and cumulative undergraduate GPA. Applicants who do not qualify for a merit scholarship are eligible to apply for a need-based scholarship. Accepted students are also eligible to apply for the Diversity Scholars Program, which includes an additional scholarship on top of any previously awarded merit or need-based scholarship. 

First-year Charleston School of Law students will also be considered for the Presidential Honors Program, which includes a scholarship, based on outstanding academic performance after their first semester or first year.

Learn more about tuition & aid at Charleston School of Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

The Charleston School of Law requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution prior to enrolling in the school. The School of Law offers both a full-time­ and part­-time enrollment option leading to the Juris Doctor. Applicants may apply to being in the fall (August) or spring (January) semester. All applicants are required to take the LSAT, register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service, and request transcripts be submitted directly to LSAC from all colleges or universities attended. Applicants should submit a completed application, a personal statement, a résumé, and two letters of recommendation. A final official transcript from the undergraduate degree­-granting institution and, if applicable, the graduate degree-­granting institution is also required prior to enrollment and should be sent directly by the school(s) to LSAC. The priority application deadline is November 1 for spring semester admission and March 1 for fall semester admission.

Many factors are considered; however, the two most important factors in reviewing an application are the cumulative undergraduate GPA and the LSAT. If an applicant has multiple LSAT scores, the highest score will be considered. A score is valid for five years, though three years is preferred. Other factors taken into consideration are graduate work, military or significant work experience, letters of recommendation, the personal statement, and community service.

Learn more about admission at Charleston School of Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Charleston:

2.83 to 3.45

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Charleston:

148 to 153

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Charleston:

2.83 to 3.45

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Charleston:

148 to 153

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Charleston:

2.83 to 3.45

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Charleston:

148 to 153

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

385 Meeting Street, PO Box 535 ,
Charleston, SC 29402,
United States