Be proud of profession, law school grads told

Charleston School of Law Associate Dean John Benfield helps a student get ready for Saturday's graduation.

S.C. Supreme Court Justice Kaye G. Hearn told graduates of the Charleston School of Law on Saturday that they should be proud to be lawyers.

"We all trust and depend on the rule of law to bring order to this sometimes chaotic world we inhabit," she said. "Yet without lawyers, there would be no rule of law."

Hearn was the commencement speaker at the law school's fourth commencement ceremony where 152 students graduated. The event was held in the McAlister Field House at The Citadel. Thirty-four students who graduated in December were also eligible to participate in the ceremony.

"Lawyers are many different things to many different people," Hearn said. "They are counselors, peacekeepers and listeners."

Hearn is an adjunct professor at the school and member of its Board of Advisors.

"Our graduating Class of 2010 is outstanding," Dean Andy Abrams said. "They are passionate about using their legal education to improve their communities and our nation."

More than 600 students attend the school's downtown campus. The law school opened in August 2004 and received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association in December 2006.

Members of the Class of 2010 gave 14,490 hours of free public service to local and state organizations. Since the school was started in 2004, students have contributed more than 120,000 hours of public service.

The Charleston School of Law is one of the few in the country that requires students to donate at least 30 hours to public service projects as a requirement for graduation.