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Application Process

Applications for admission to the Charleston School of Law are available online at LSAC.org.

For more information, deadlines, and application steps, please visit our How to Apply page.

Prospective students may apply for either spring semester enrollment or fall semester enrollment. Both applications are available online at LSAC.org. Spring semester classes begin in January and fall semester classes begin in August.

The priority application deadline for fall admission is March 1.

The priority application deadline for spring admission is October 1.

The deadline for fall transfer applicants and visiting students is July 1. 

*Applications will be accepted until all seats are filled.

Admission Requirements

1. Create an account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) at LSAC.org.

2. Register and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) by contacting the LSAC online at LSAC.org. The Charleston School of Law LSAT Code is 5821. Or, based on the conditions here, you may register and take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) by contacting ETS at ets.org/gre.

3. Complete and electronically submit an application for admission.  Applications are at LSAC.org.  (Visit our How to Apply page for additional information.)

4. Register with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Registration is available online at LSAC.org.

5. Submit two letters of recommendation. Applicants must use the LSAC letter of recommendation (LOR) service. At least one letter should be written in the past year.

6. Submit a personal statement describing your reasons for wanting to attend law school, hardships or challenges you have faced and overcome, or relating other relevant information about yourself that you would like the Admission Committee to consider along with your application. Personal statements should be submitted online at LSAC.org.

7. Submit a current résumé with your application to LSAC at LSAC.org.

8.  Request transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Transcripts should be submitted by the school(s) directly to LSAC’s CAS. A final transcript denoting that a degree has been granted must be sent to LSAC prior to October 15 for fall enrollees and within four weeks of the date classes begin for spring enrollees, but preferably before law school matriculation.

9. If you have previously enrolled in a J.D. program at a law school, you are also required to submit (a) a transcript from your prior law school to LSAC, (b) a letter of standing from your prior law school, and (c) a letter of recommendation from one of your law school professors to LSAC.

10.  Check application status. Once your application is submitted, click here to check the status.

LSAT scores, letters of recommendation and transcripts should be sent through LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The Charleston School of Law’s CAS code is 5821. Paper copies and/or email attachments will not be accepted.

GRE score reports must be assigned to the law school. The Charleston School of Law’s GRE code is 5033.

The Charleston School of Law admits students selectively after a thorough but holistic evaluation of all personal and academic criteria. Many factors are considered in the decision to accept an applicant. LSAT performance and undergraduate grade point average (GPA) are statistically proven indicators of law school success. Other factors such as postgraduate work, employment, military experience, community service, extracurricular activities and leadership experience will also be weighed in the decision-making process. All applicants, regardless of LSAT or GRE score, will be considered.

Completion of the LSAT (or GRE based on the conditions below) is required for admission into the Charleston School of Law. 

Register to take the LSAT by contacting LSAC online at LSAC.org. LSAT scores are valid for five years. The Charleston School of Law will use the high score when multiple LSAT scores are presented. 

In an effort to increase the accessibility of law school, the Charleston School of Law will accept the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) beginning with the application for fall 2023 admission under the following conditions:

1. An applicant does not have a reportable LSAT score.

A. If an applicant has a reportable LSAT score on file at any time during the admissions process, the GRE score will not be considered.

B. If an applicant has been admitted with a GRE score, receipt of a subsequent LSAT score will result in a reevaluation of the applicant’s file and admission decision by the Admission Committee.

2. Applicants must submit all GRE scores from the past five years. Both total and individual section scores are required. The Admission Committee will evaluate scores from all sections of the GRE. 

3. Applicants who choose to apply with only a GRE must submit an explanation for why they have chosen to take the GRE over the LSAT.

We encourage all applicants to take the LSAT; while some merit scholarships will be available for GRE applicants, the majority will be for those with an LSAT score. 

Prior to enrolling in the Charleston School of Law, applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. No particular pre-law curriculum or major is required.

Formal interviews are not part of the normal application process; however, applicants are always welcome to visit the school, attend a class and meet with current students. Contact the Office of Admission by phone, 843.377.2143, or email for additional information or to schedule an appointment.

In compliance with ABA Standard 509, the Charleston School of Law will accept transfer credit from other ABA approved law schools, provided the student has earned a grade of “C” or better. Students who seek to transfer to the Charleston School of Law are advised that typically an applicant will have completed the first year of law school and that a maximum of 30 credit hours will be accepted on transfer and apply toward a degree from the Charleston School of Law.

In exceptional circumstances, the Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may accept up to 60 transfer credit hours provided any such credit complies with all other requirements of the Charleston School of Law transfer credit policy. Transfer students may be accepted for fall and spring semester.

Any applicant who is currently attending or has previously attended law school is required to submit the following as part of their application for admission:

  • Final transcript with all law school grades
  • A letter of standing from the prior law school
  • A letter of recommendation from a law school professor who can speak to your abilities in the classroom.

The Charleston School of Law has compiled application tips to assist you in the application process. The Office of Admission is also available as a resource. If you have questions, concerns or just need to talk to an admission representative, please contact the Office of Admission by phone, 843.377.2143, or email, info@charlestonlaw.edu.

If you have technical issues while completing the application on LSAC’s website, please be sure to contact LSAC directly.

Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarship Information

For students who first enrolled between, and including, the fall 2018 and spring 2021 semesters, per semester tuition is $20,550 for full-time J.D. students and $16,512 for part-time J.D. students. For students who entered in fall 2021 or after, per semester tuition is $22,550 for full-time J.D. students and $18,100 for part-time J.D. students. All students pay an annual Student Bar Association fee of $120.

There is no separate tuition rate for out-of-state students.

A complete breakdown of the Cost of Attendance can be found by clicking here.

The Charleston School of Law offers both academic merit and need-based scholarships. A student’s application to the School of Law serves as the application for merit scholarships. All new, first-year students will be considered for merit scholarship. The LSAT and GPA are the two most important factors in evaluating candidates for merit scholarships.

The average merit scholarship for the fall 2022 entering class was about $19,000.

Need-based scholarship applications are available for spring enrollment and fall enrollment. The need-based scholarship application for students enrolling in the spring is due Nov. 15. The need-based scholarship application for students enrolling in the fall is available in early January, and the application deadline is July 1.

The average need-based scholarship for the fall 2022 entering class was about $5,000.

Please contact the Office of Admission, 843.377.2143, with questions about scholarships.

Most students will depend on federal student loans to pay for tuition, books and living expenses while in law school.

All prospective students are advised to complete the FAFSA, which serves at the application for the Federal Direct Stafford loan and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS loan. For additional financial aid information, contact the Office of Financial Aid by phone, 843.377.1102, or email, financialaid@charlestonlaw.edu.

To learn more about the financial aid process, visit our Financial Aid page.

The Charleston School of Law appreciates all of those who have served our country. Since 2012, the School of Law has been a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, also known as the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. It allows institutions of higher learning (i.e., degree-granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.

The institution may contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution.

Program Information

The Charleston School of Law offers both full-time and part-time options leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. The standard course load is 15 credit hours per semester for full-time students.

Part-time students are enrolled in 10 credit hours their first semester, nine (9) credit hours their second semester, and 9-12 credit hours in subsequent semesters. It is expected that students enrolling in the full-time division starting with the fall semester will graduate in three years and those who are part-time will graduate in four years.

Full-time students who begin law school in the spring semester (January) will be on track to graduate in 2.5 years. In order to do so, they are required to enroll in full course load during their first summer semester of law school.

Part-time students will not have separate class times from full-time students. Classes typically meet twice a week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:20 p.m. for 80 minutes. We do not have an evening program.

Students who are part-time are advised that scheduling flexibility is not unlimited and that there will be certain instances where part-time students will need to arrange their personal and work schedules to attend certain required courses and other graduation requirements when the school schedules those courses and requirements.

First-year, full-time students are advised that they should not be employed. A second or third-year, full-time student should not be employed more than 20 hours per week.

First-year required courses are Torts I and II, Property I and II, Contracts I and II, Civil Procedure, Legal Research Analysis, and Writing I and II, and Academic Skills. Upper level required courses include Bar Preparation Course, Business Organizations, Constitutional Law I and II, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Sales, Secured Transactions, Wills, Trusts and Estates, Legal Skills. Other course requirements include the completion of the Upper-Level Writing Requirement, one Skills Course, and one Drafting Course. Students also must attend Professionalism Series Lectures and complete a minimum of 50 hours (30 hours if a student enrolled prior to June 2021) of pro bono work to graduate. 

*Please note, the above requirements are subject to change. Please refer to the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook for current policies and more information.

First-year courses are predetermined. However, in the second and third years of law school students may choose from a variety of elective courses ranging from Admiralty, Federal Income Taxation, and Sports Law to Intellectual Property, Trial Advocacy, and Pleadings and Practice. Ample opportunities for outside study are also available to students after completing their first-year coursework through externships. For more information on course selections, see the course catalog

The Charleston School of Law does not offer specializations. However, several upper-level course tracks and specialization designations are available to students after completing their general requirements.

Students with a particular interest in one of these practice areas are encouraged to select a number of elective and skills courses listed in the corresponding course track.

Students interested in another practice area are encouraged to meet with their adviser to discuss the elective courses they should take. In addition, students are encouraged to join a student organization, fulfill their pro bono requirements and complete an externship in their particular area of interest.

In certain circumstances, Charleston School of Law students may earn course credit towards their J.D. requirements for courses not taken at the School of Law. In all cases, students must follow proper procedures for obtaining advance permission for these types of courses. Students must request and receive written permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (or such person designated by the Dean) before registering for programs outside of the Charleston School of Law. After attending an approved program, students must submit an official transcript to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs through the Registrar’s Office within eight (8) weeks of completing the program.

For more information on credits from other programs for Charleston School of Law students, please follow the below links:

All required courses and most elective courses meet on campus between Monday and Friday, and students must be physically present. There may be an occasional elective course offered online or on a weekend.

Bar Passage Data and Placement Statistics

Information on bar passage for graduates of the Charleston School of Law can be found here and also on our webpage with the ABA Required Disclosures, which can be accessed by clicking here.

For information about job placement, please click here to view the ABA Employment Summary reports.

General Questions

The Charleston School of Law offers a distinctly unique urban setting within Charleston’s bustling “Upper King Street” district, known for its boutique shops, fine restaurants, and vital arts and entertainment nightlife. 

At the heart of the campus is the Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library, located on the first floor of 385 Meeting Street. The school also has offices and classrooms at the adjacent building at 385 Meeting Street and 494 King Street.

Click here for a campus map.

The Charleston School of Law is a private, stand-alone law school. It is not a part of the College of Charleston or any other school. The only degrees offered are the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and Master of Law (LL.M.) in Admiralty and Maritime Law degree.

The Charleston School of Law policy regarding student employment is as follows:

1. First-year full-time students may not be employed.

2. Second, third- and fourth-year full-time students may not work more than 20 hours per week in any semester in which they take more than 12 credit hours.

Learn more about life at the Charleston School of Law and why students choose our law school by exploring our video viewbook. To experience the law school firsthand, please attend an Open House or schedule a personal visit.

The Charleston School of Law does not provide student housing, however, Charleston and the surrounding areas offer many housing options, and the school will assist students in locating suitable housing. In addition, the Office of Admission has a guide to area housing and keeps a roommate list to assist students in finding roommates for the school year.

Please visit our Student Housing webpage for current listing and major apartment rental communities in the area. 

The School received full accreditation from the American Bar Association on Aug. 4, 2011. The Charleston School of Law is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312.988.6738.

The Charleston School of Law is licensed by the S.C. Commission on Higher Education.