The Journey: James Moran

James Moran arrived at Charleston School of Law in the Fall 2019 and quickly realized that law school was nothing like the University of South Carolina, where he was an undergraduate student.

The first noticeable difference was obvious.

“There’s, what, 40,000 students (at South Carolina)? It is like its own little city,” said Moran. “I came from a bigger school. You never see the same person twice in any given day.”

The Charleston School of Law is a smaller, more intimate community. There is more interaction with faculty, leaders, and fellow students.

Moran immediately fell in love with the environment. “I didn’t want to be someone that was just in the crowd,” he said. “I wanted to be involved in things and kind of leave my mark on the campus.”

Moran’s three-year journey at Charleston Law serves as an example of balance between class studies, externships, and community service. He was a member of PDP/Phi Delta Phi (treasurer) and Trial Advocacy Board student organizations on campus. Moran also served as an extern and law clerk for David Aylor Law Firm and piled up over 300 hours in community service as a summer intern for 14th circuit solicitor’s office in Beaufort.

“I just hit the ground running and stayed true to myself,” said Moran. “I started to get involved with things on campus. I really went after things that I was passionate about.

“When you say you are going to do something, it requires a lot of effort and energy. So, I’ve learned to not take on a bunch of things that I may not be really interested in just for the sake of doing them. It’s really made me realize what things am I passionate about, incorporate that into my schedule, and then going out and do it to the best of my ability.”

Moran, a Conway, South Carolina native, learned that hard work and hustle will pay off. He witnessed his dad build a classic car restoration business and his mom spent 30+ years as an educator.

“My parents came down here and took a tour and they relayed the message pictures to me,” he said. “They described the culture and the program. It stood out to me. Charleston Law has an ‘open door’ policy with the professors, which is very unlike other schools. Everyone working together to succeed and build each other up. I got accepted and made my decision. I don’t regret it at all.”

Moran credits the Charleston Law faculty, specifically Professor William Janssen and Professor Debra Gammons for helping his learn and grow in and out of the classroom.  

“I would come in before exams, ask him [Professor Janssen] questions and go over material and stuff that I was confused about,” he said about his classroom experience. “He always gave the best advice and helped me with a ton of stuff.”

“Professor Gammons coached me during the Trial Advocacy Board competition,” added Moran. “I got to learn a lot about her, and she helped me with post-grad opportunities in the legal profession.”

The holistic experience to education gave Moran, a first-generation law student in his family, a sense of care and community he needed, especially during his 1L year at law school.

“It can be a lot for someone who has never dealt with some of these terms or topics before,” he said. “It’s like learning how to walk again. You must learn a new system of how things work.

“I feel that I know how best to use my time now. Undergrad is very different. You have more free time than time and law school it’s the opposite. I learned better time management. You begin to realize how valuable time is. It’s a discipline.”

The Charleston School of Law will host its Spring 2022 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14 at the McAlister Field House on the campus of The Citadel. Doors to the auditorium will open at 12:30 p.m. with the ceremony starting at 2:00 p.m. The Citadel is located on 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston. A reception to follow the commencement ceremony on Summerall Field.


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 about 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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