Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Charleston, South Carolina
There are many career and education opportunities for lawyers in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Currently, 7,310 people work as lawyers in South Carolina. This is expected to grow by 22% to about 8,950 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for lawyers, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.0% over the next eight years. In general, lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions.
Lawyers earn approximately $41 per hour or $86,910 per year on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $53 per hour or $110,590 annually. Lawyers earn more than people working in the category of Representation generally in South Carolina and more than people in the Representation category nationally. Jobs in this field include: law writer, corporation counsel, and assistant public defender.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a lawyer, among fourteen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. Lawyers usually hold a Law degree, so you can expect to spend about three years studying to be a lawyer if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or about seven years if you have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Lawyer
In general, lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. They also may specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Lawyers study Constitution and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to establish ramifications for cases. They also represent clients in court or before government agencies. Equally important, lawyers have to analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents. They are often called upon to interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses. They are expected to talk with colleagues with specialties in appropriate areas of legal issue to determine and verify bases for legal proceedings. Finally, lawyers advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits, or legal rights and obligations.
Every day, lawyers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.
It is important for lawyers to examine legal data to establish advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit. They are often called upon to supervise legal assistants. They also gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions, by such means as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case. They are sometimes expected to ready legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal. Somewhat less frequently, lawyers are also expected to search for and examine public and other legal records to write opinions or establish ownership.
They also have to be able to probate wills and represent and advise executors and administrators of estates and act as agent or executor for businesses or individuals. And finally, they sometimes have to help design federal and state programs, draft and interpret laws and legislation, and establish enforcement procedures.
Like many other jobs, lawyers must have exceptional integrity and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:
- Administrative Law Judge. Conduct hearings to decide or recommend decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters and prepare decisions. Determine penalties or the existence and the amount of liability, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims, or compromise settlements.
- Arbitrator. Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
- Judge. Arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May issue marriage licenses and perform wedding ceremonies.
- Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
- Paralegal. Assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. May meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Lawyer Training
Charleston School of Law - Charleston, SC
Charleston School of Law, 81 Mary St, Charleston, SC 29402. Charleston School of Law is a small school located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 620 students. Charleston School of Law has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated 162 students in 2008.
Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.
For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.
Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.
Board Certification in Social Security Disability: The comprehensive legal practice of counseling and representing persons with disabilities and their representatives about their rights to receive benefits from the social security administration.
For more information, see the National Board of Legal Speciality Certification website.
Licensing agency: S.C. State Board of Law Examiners
Address: P.O. Box 11330, Columbia, SC 29211
Phone: (803) 734-1080
Website: S.C. State Board of Law Examiners
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.
The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.