SC Lawyer, March 2004, #6. The Charleston School of Law: where traditions offer opportunity.

AuthorBy Richard Gershon

South Carolina Lawyer


SC Lawyer, March 2004, #6.

The Charleston School of Law: where traditions offer opportunity

South Carolina LawyerMarch 2004The Charleston School of Law: where traditions offer opportunityBy Richard GershonWhen the first public announcements regarding the formation of the Charleston School of Law were made in April 2003, perhaps many people asked "Why do we need another law school in South Carolina?" But, after seeing the turnout at the law school's first open house on January 24, 2004, it was clear that many people were asking "Why wasn't there a law school in the historic city of Charleston sooner?" On that January day, more than 200 applicants, along with their parents, spouses or significant others, gathered to learn more about the Charleston School of Law. Also in attendance that day were the founders and faculty of the law school. Even though the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education granted the law school permission to operate in September 2003, the law school became real on January 24. That is because a law school's essence is its people, and this was the first opportunity for the people of the law school to get together. It was a special day for what is going to be a special place.

When it is fully operational, the law school will serve as a law center for members of the Bench and Bar who will have access to the school's library collection and continuing education programs. The students, many of whom would have attended out-of-state law schools were it not for the establishment of the Charleston School of Law, will be active members of the community. The school will be an economic force, providing employment and having a budget (by the third year) in excess of $10 million - all private money. The Charleston School of Law will be a great addition to the legal profession in South Carolina.

The people of the Charleston School of Law

New schools are not bound by history. The excuse "that's the way it has always been done" does not exist, and the faculty, students, staff and alumni all have a role in building the law school. They are the original stakeholders. They are the risk takers. They are the ones who pave the way.

The Charleston School of Law is already blessed by the involvement of some amazing people who are committed to developing a law school in which the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina can take pride. The founders of the Charleston School of Law include some of South Carolina's most prominent judges, lawyers and scholars. The members of the committee share a commitment to establishing a student-oriented law school premised upon ideals of service to the community, professionalism and excellence in legal education.

The founders, who are now officially known as the advisory committee, do not just talk about public service and a commitment to legal education, they live that commitment. For example, during the 2004 South Carolina Bar Convention, Judge Alex Sanders, the Chairman of the Board of the law school, was recognized for his contributions to public service by the South Carolina Bar Foundation, which named him the recipient of the DuRant Distinguish- ed Public Service Award. As past president of the College of Charles- ton, Chief Judge of the South Caro- lina Court of Appeals, a member of both the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate and an educator, Judge Sanders has devoted a lifetime to public service in South Carolina. Judge Sanders has also served in the U.S. Army, been a member of the adjunct faculty at both the University of South Carolina and Harvard Law School and a professor at the...

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