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Guide to Finding South Carolina Lawyer

Guide to Finding South Carolina Lawyer

What is a South Carolina Lawyer?
       A South Carolina lawyer is an attorney who is barred in the State of South Carolina and is permitted to practice law within the state.  In order to be a South Carolina lawyer an individual must have graduated from an accredited law school within the United States or have done comparable training that meets the standard requirement of the The South Carolina Bar Association.  In order to be barred in the State of South Carolina a South Carolina Lawyer must have passed the bar exam, the MPRE and have passed the character and fitness evaluation performed by the state.
       The bar exam in South Carolina is a three day exam that is administered by the South Carolina Bar Association twice a year, usually in February and July.  The average number of applicants who pass the Pennsylvania Bar Exam is around 75%. The first two days of the South Carolina bar exam involves 6  sections of essay questions broken up into 2 hours a piece;  3 on day one and 3 on day 2.  These essays are prepared by the South Carolina Board of Bar Examiners pertaining specifically to South Carolina law.  These 6 sections can cover up to 9 possible legal subjects.  The third day of the bar exam in South Carolina is the Multi-State Bar Exam.  This exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions taken by applicants throughout the United States.  The topics covered in the multi-state bar exam include:
criminal law & procedure
constitutional law
       In addition to passing the bar exam, a South Carolina lawyer applicant must pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam, or MPRE.  The MPRE is a standardized 60 multiple choice question exam that gauges an applicants ability to understand and implement ethical situations dealing with the practice of law.  The questions encompass areas including fees, advertising, privileges, disclosure and a number of other issues that examine the applicants ability to practice law.  South Carolina  requires a passing score of 77 in order to become a South Carolina Lawyer barred in the state.  
       The final step to becoming a South Carolina Lawyer is to meet the character and fitness qualifications of the South Carolina Bar Association.  Due to the high position of responsibility that comes with the privilege of practicing law each state requires an individual to submit a character and fitness form that is evaluated by a state commission.  This form will consist of all relevant information that will enable the bar association to investigate the applicant and determine whether they are worthy of the ability to practice law.  The bar association will ask for all relevant information including criminal record, previous addresses, educational background and military service.  The character and fitness commission will also request fingerprinting and official transcripts from educational institutions.  As a South Carolina Lawyer, an individual is held to higher standard of conduct because of the ability of an attorney to take advantage of those individuals who are not familiar with the law.  South Carolina has no reciprocity with any other stat in the Union.  The only way to practice law in the State of South Carolina is to take and pass the South Carolina or to be admitted Pro Hac Vice.

Where can I find if an South Carolina Lawyer is in good standing?
       If you are contemplating hiring a South Carolina Lawyer it is best to do your own homework first.  You will want to make sure that the South Carolina Lawyer who is going to represent you is properly licensed and in good standing in the State.  If you want to find information on the standing of a South Carolina Lawyer you should go to the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel’s website at www.scbar.org.  
       If you need a South Carolina lawyer you can also go to where the South Carolina Bar Association offers a free referral service.  Consultation meetings with a South Carolina lawyer referred to by the South Carolina Bar Association will charge $50 for a half hour meeting.  In order to take advantage of the referral service you can call 1-800-346-2284.  You may also qualify for legal aid services.  To find out you can call 1-800-346-5592.

How do I report Disciplinary Action against South Carolina Lawyers?
       Disciplinary actions against South Carolina Lawyers are serious matters. South Carolina Lawyers are responsible for upholding the ethical and legal aspects of the profession on a 24/7 basis.  If a South Carolina lawyer is not upholding his ethical responsibilities or is deficient in his or her ability to represent you then that matter should be brought to the attention of The Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the State of South Carolina.   You must file a complaint against South Carolina lawyer directly, and in writing, to the Disciplinary Counsel of the State of South Carolina.  Your complaint should include: the name of the South Carolina lawyer; description of the case the lawyer was involved in; chronological timeline of events leading to the belief that disciplinary charges were necessary; copies of documents pertinent to the complaint;  names of witnesses and other parties; and the name and address of the complainant.  If the Disciplinary Counsel, after concluding its  investigation, feels that the allegations are credible then they will forward the investigation to the Commission on Lawyer Conduct for prosecution of the South Carolina Lawyer for his or her violations of the rules of Professional responsibility.  At all times from the beginning of an investigation up to the prosecution for disciplinary action by the Commission on Lawyer Conductl the matter is confidential.  It is important to know that when you file disciplinary actions against an South Carolina lawyer you may be waiving your attorney/client privilege to certain matters involving the disciplinary action. .
       If the complaint results in disciplinary action against the South Carolina Lawyer then the matter will become public record that can be discovered on the South Carolina Bar Associations website. To report disciplinary complaints to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel  you should mail your complaint to:
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
1015 Souter St., suite 309
Columbia, SC

What questions should I ask a South Carolina Lawyer?
When you are interviewing South Carolina Lawyers about possible representation you should have a number of specific questions ready to ask, including:
Where did you go to law school?
Are you barred in the state South Carolina?
Have you ever been disciplined by an bar association?
How often do you handle cases like mine?
Will you be handling my case personally?
What do you see as the problem with my case?
What do you see as the result of this litigation?
Are you familiar with the court procedures and personnel in the filing jurisdiction?
       When looking for a SC lawyer you want to make sure that your SC lawyer is barred and in good standing with in the State of South Carolina.  South Carolina has its own laws involving wills, criminal law, torts, contracts, etc.  In order to become a SC lawyer an individual must take and pass the South Carolina Bar Exam.  The South Carolina Bar exam is a 3 day exam that includes six 2 hour sessions of essay exams specifically discussing South Carolina Law.  In addition a potential SC lawyer must also take the MBE on the third day.  This is a 200 multiple choice exam that is administered by the National Board of Bar Examiners and taken by ever applicant to practice law in the entire United States.  A prospective SC lawyer will also have to take the MPRE and get a passing score of 77 in order to show that they meet the professional responsibility and ethics requirements of the state of South Carolina.
       There are many services available to find SC lawyers that can help you with your specific needs.  When looking for SC lawyers you want one that is specialized in the particular field that you need representation for.  SC lawyers who are general practitioners are well rounded but when your matter involves a specific legal question it is better to get SC lawyers who practice exclusively in that area of law whether it is contracts, torts, corporations or family law.  Also be sure to find SC lawyers who practice in the jurisdiction you will be litigating in.  Often times the fact that SC lawyers are familiar with that particular courtroom, the judges, personnel, and opposing counsel will be a great benefit to you and your case.  
       When you are are litigating in court in South Carolina you will need a lawyer.  South Carolina lawyers can be found through a rudimentary internet search.  The South Carolina Bar Association maintains a directory of South Carolina Lawyers.  South Carolina Lawyers who are found in the directory are both qualified and in good standing as lawyers.  South Carolina Bar Association directory will also display any disciplinary sanctions that have been imposed on a South Carolina Lawyer.  South Carolina’s Bar Association also has a referral service.  By calling 1-800-868-2284 you can speak to a representative of the South Carolina Bar Association to discuss your need for a South Carolina Lawyer.  South Carolina Lawyer’s will then charge you a $50 fee for a 30 minute consultation to discuss your case if they have been referred by the program.  After the initial consultation it is up to you to discuss fees and representation with your lawyer.  South Carolina lawyers will charge different rates depending on the type of law, complexity of the case and how long their services will be needed for.
       If you need legal representation but you cannot afford a lawyer, South Carolina’s legal aide services may be able to help you.  South Carolina Law requires that South Carolina lawyers contribute a certain amount of Pro Bono hours of legal services a year.  If an individual works for a large or small firm, or is a solo lawyer south carolina requires them to devote some of their time to representing the indigent and less fortunate in cases that require expert legal advice.  If you live in South Carolina, your  income is below 125% of the national poverty level and you need a lawyer, South Carolina’s legal aid services can be contacted at 1-888-346-6692.

Lawyers in South Carolina
       If you are in a car accident or any other incident where there is a personal injury action taken against you you will need the help of Lawyers in South Carolina.  Lawyers in South Carolina know the nuances of South Carolina tort law and can help you win your case.  South Carolina is a comparative negligence state.  This means that the award of damages in a personal injury action will be reduced by the amount of negligence that contributed to the personal injury.  Lawyers in South Carolina will be able to get your damages reduced and, in some cases, prove that the negligence on the part of the  plaintiff was extreme and help you to avoid and money damages at all.