Becoming a lawyer in South Carolina is a multi-step process that requires dedication and hard work. To become a lawyer in the state, you must attend an undergraduate program, take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), attend an ABA-accredited law school and earn a law doctorate (JD), pass the South Carolina State Bar Exam, become a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, and obtain a Juris Doctor (JD) degree or a law degree (LLB) from a law school approved by the Legal Education Council of the United States Bar Association. Additionally, you must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) with a score of at least 77 within four years from the date you filed your application for admission to law in South Carolina. The journey to becoming a lawyer in South Carolina begins with attending an undergraduate program. This will provide you with the necessary foundation for your legal studies.
After completing your undergraduate studies, you must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). This is an important step as it will determine your eligibility for admission into an ABA-accredited law school. Once you have been accepted into an ABA-accredited law school, you must earn a law doctorate (JD). This is typically a three-year program that includes courses such as civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, evidence, and torts. After completing your JD degree, you must pass the South Carolina State Bar Exam.
This is a two-day exam that tests your knowledge of state and federal laws. Once you have passed the bar exam, you must become a member of the South Carolina Bar Association. This will involve completing courses on professional liability issues, reviewing the South Carolina Judicial System, and reviewing arbitration and mediation. Additionally, you must obtain a voter registration number from the County Board of Elections and Voter Registration or visit the South Carolina Election Commission website. In addition to passing the bar exam and becoming a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, you must also complete four trial experiences under Rule 403 of the South Carolina Court of Appeals Rules before appearing alone on any matter in any court in South Carolina. You must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) with a score of at least 77 within four years from the date you filed your application for admission to law in South Carolina. Finally, if you graduated from a law school not approved by the ABA in the United States or from a law school abroad, you are not eligible to sit for the South Carolina bar exam.
The Secretary of State commissions South Carolina notaries public and archives their oaths. Additionally, South Carolina offers limited licenses for teachers in the law school clinic program, in-house lawyers, and retired or inactive lawyers who work for state legal services organizations or for the bar association's pro bono program.