The Charleston School of Law has received full accreditation from the American Bar Association, school officials announced.
“In 2003, we began with a dream to create a second law school in South Carolina, a student-centered law school focused on service to the citizens of the state and region,” said dean Andy Abrams.
With the decision by the ABA to grant full accreditation to the Charleston School of Law, Abrams said “this is no longer a dream, but a reality.”
“It has truly been a remarkable seven-year journey, made possible by the incredible efforts of the founders, faculty, students, staff, alumni and Charleston community, and the lawyers and judges throughout this city, state and region,” Abrams said. “The Charleston School of Law is an institution with a brief but remarkable past, a compelling present and now, with this grant of full accreditation, an exciting future.”
Alex Sanders, chairman of the school’s board of directors, said the law school set out to teach students the law as a profession that has public service as its primary purpose.
“The Charleston School of Law has had an extraordinary impact on the growth and enrichment of American law and the legal profession,” Sanders said.
The Charleston School of Law has graduated nearly 900 students since 2007. About 700 students are expected to enroll when fall classes begin next week. The school also requires students to donate at least 30 hours of public service before graduating. In the seven years the school has been operational, students have volunteered more than 161,600 of pro bono and internship work.
With 80% of applicants coming from outside of South Carolina, Sanders said the school is taking on a more national profile.
“The impact of the Charleston School of Law is not just in Charleston and South Carolina, but increasingly throughout America,” he said.
The vote to accredit the law school occurred last week in Toronto during a meeting of the ABA’s Council of the Section of the Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.