Supreme Court Justices welcome new law students

South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty, Justice John W. Kittredge, Justice Kaye G. Hearn and Justice George C. James, Jr. addressed the incoming class of Charleston School of Law students, welcoming them to the legal profession and offered words of advice.

“Welcome to the beginning of your journey to join the greatest profession — the most noble profession — not only in this country, but the world,” said Chief Justice Beatty. “Lawyers are the backbone of our democracy. If we do not have good lawyers, our democracy will fail. That is why we are here today.”

The event was held Wednesday afternoon at the Charleston Museum Auditorium as a featured program of Orientation Week for new students at Charleston Law. The week-long schedule continues through Thursday and includes a series of classes and programs designed to educate students on best practices.

“I am grateful to the members of the Court for taking time out of their busy schedules to welcome our newest students to the profession,” said Provost and Dean Larry Cunningham.

Justice Hearn leaned on the importance of being a person of strong character and fitness, both in the legal profession and life. “All you really need to know about being an ethical lawyer you probably learned already when you were a child playing in the sandbox: Be kind, respectful, and don’t throw sand on one another.”

“I would suggest to you be a good listener; engage in meaningful conversations,” said Justice James. “Listen to others’ point of view, not only will you be a better lawyer, but you’ll be also a better person.”

Elected to the Supreme Court in 2017, Justice James added, “You can be a straight A student, but if you don’t have the appropriate character and fitness, you won’t make it into our profession.”

“You’re going to be stretched mentally in a way that you are not accustomed to,” added Justice Kittredge. “It’s going to take you beyond your comfort level, and I respectfully encourage you to embrace it. You will go to a different level of thinking, analyzing, understanding, of being able to vet different points of view. It’s a whole new way of thinking and approaching situations.”

On the subject of character and fitness, Justice Hearn pointed to Daniel Webster, an iconic lawyer and statesman, who addressed the Charleston Bar nearly two centuries ago saying, “The law: It has honored us; may we honor it.”

Charleston School of Law students officially begin classes for the 2022-23 academic year on Monday, August 22.

CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF LAW QUICK FACTS

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 you for success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.

  • The Princeton Review ranks Charleston School of Law professors second in the country for faculty accessibility (2021)
  • Charleston School of Law faculty ranked among the top of The Princeton Review’s list of Best Professors in the nation (2016-2018)
  • Experiential Learning: Charleston School of Law students have access to more than 150 externship sites, creating opportunities for experiential learning in the legal field.
  • Community Service: Charleston School of Law students have performed more than 241,000 community service hours (2004-current).
  • Students have won the National Tax Moot Court Championship for seven consecutive years (2012-2018)

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