Those in Charleston who need some legal guidance or are curious about practicing law in South Carolina will get an opportunity next month.

The South Carolina Bar is holding its annual Law School for Non-Lawyers courses in Charleston this year.

The seven-week course will provide instruction on several legal topics including criminal law, workers compensation and employment law, bankruptcy law and health care.

The course will be held at the North Charleston campus of Trident Technical College once a week from March 11 to April 22.

Bright Ariail, an attorney with a practice on James Island, is teaching one of the courses, alternative dispute resolution, which covers options regarding solutions to lawsuits.

"I try to encourage settlement before getting into litigation," Ariail said.

Ariail said there are options like arbitration and mediation. She taught the same course during the 2010 program to about 30 people.

"I think it's a good way to educate the general public as to the legal system. I don't think everyone knows what's available to them," she said.

The program has been in place for more than 20 years.

Kylie Hultgren, a member of the Bar staff, said there are a number of life events people don't realize can be made easier with the help of a lawyer.

"For example: buying a house, considering adoption, starting a business, writing a will, etc.," she said. "There is also a lot of misinformation out there. Internet searches may generate information about the law that may not apply in South Carolina."

Bar officials said the program is also beneficial to those considering a career in law.

Students in the program receive a book with information on each lesson.

The program is funded through an Interest on Lawyers Trust Account grant from the South Carolina Bar.

Students will pay $45 to sign up for the course. The cost goes toward printing the books, Bar officials said.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or