Skip to Main Content

Charleston School of Law Juris Doctor Program Catalog and Student Handbook 2023-2024

Academic Catalog and Handbook

Character and Fitness Disclosure

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Character and Fitness

Accepted students who reveal on their admission application any criminal conduct issues of concern can take proactive steps to address the issue by contacting the appropriate persons. Many jurisdictions will review a provisional application for admission to the bar. Information on character and fitness standards for various jurisdictions is available at the National Conference of Bar Examiners' website: www.ncbex.org.  Students are encouraged to meet with the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Success or the Associate Dean of Students and to contact the bar in that state(s) to determine its character and fitness and bar admission requirements. 

When responding to the character and fitness questions below, you must:

  • include all disciplinary actions, charges, convictions, and traffic violations.
  • exclude parking tickets.
  • disclose all traffic violations to include those you consider to be minor.

In accordance with the application for admission to any Bar, you must provide a complete record of all instances in which you have been arrested or taken into custody or accused, formally or informally, of the violation of a law, including:

  • instances that have been expunged by Order of the Court.
  • juvenile offenses whether or not the records are sealed.
  • charges that have been dismissed or you were acquitted.
  • adjudication was withheld.
  • a conviction was reversed, set aside, or vacated.
  • the record was sealed or expunged.
  • you participated in a pretrial intervention program.
  • you were advised by a judge or attorney that you are not required to disclose.

If you answer "yes" to any of the following Character and Fitness questions, you must attach a detailed explanation for each of
those questions providing dates, locations, charges, disposition, and any sanctions imposed. Including a copy of your driving record or criminal record without providing a detailed explanation is not sufficient. The explanation(s) must be submitted electronically as an attachment(s) under the "Attachments" section of your application.

Because of the high ethical standards to which lawyers are held, the failure to disclose an act or event such as the ones described
below is often more significant and leads to more serious consequences than the act or event itself. If you have questions about whether an incident or charge should be disclosed, err on the side of full disclosure.

You have an ongoing duty to inform the Office of Admission of any changes in the information in this application and to the
Character and Fitness questions to include any new information. That duty begins at the point of submission of the application and continues throughout the entirety of your law school career. Failure to provide truthful answers or failure to inform the Office of Admission of any changes or updates to your answers may result in revocation of admission, disciplinary action by the School of Law, rescission of your law degree, and/or not being allowed to take the Bar Exam.

Admission to the Bar

Before enrolling in law school, a student should also determine whether the state(s) in which he or she intends to practice has special requirements for admission to the bar in addition to character and fitness such as pre-legal training, domicile, filing notice of intent to practice before entering law school, certification of character and fitness, appointment of a preceptor, law school curriculum, and the like.  Students are responsible for ascertaining and meeting these requirements. Students are encouraged to meet with the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Success and to contact the bar in that state(s) to determine its character and fitness and bar admission requirements. 

J.D./M.B.A. Dual Degree Admission Requirements

A Charleston School of Law student who has successfully completed two years of full-time study, which includes successful completion of Contracts I & II and Business Organizations, and who is in good academic standing, may apply to the College of Charleston M.B.A. program. Students who transfer to the Charleston School of Law from another law school are not eligible for this Dual Degree Program.  For additional information about the J.D./M.B.A. Dual Degree program can be found here

International Applicants

The Charleston School of Law requires that foreign transcripts, academic records, mark sheets and degree certifications be submitted through LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Be sure that all educational records are submitted in the original language.  If the transcript or other documents are not in English, a translation must be included. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts. If you completed any post-secondary work outside the U.S. (including its territories) or Canada, you must use CAS for the evaluation of your foreign transcripts. The one exception to this requirement is if you completed the foreign work through a study abroad, consortium or exchange program sponsored by a U.S. or Canadian institution, and the work is clearly indicated as such on the home campus transcript. This service is included in the CAS registration fee. An International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your law school report. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report is required for each applicant whose native language is not English, or if English was not the language of instruction at the school where the applicant received his or her degree (baccalaureate equivalent). You must contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and request that your TOEFL score be sent to LSAC. LSAC's TOEFL code for the Credential Assembly Service is 0058. Your score will be included in the International Credential Evaluation document that will be included in your law school report.

Auditing a Course

Applicants with an adequate background of experience or study, who have special need for a limited acquaintance with a field of law, may be permitted to enroll in one or more classes at the Charleston School of Law upon application with an accompanying statement of their situation and needs and a $50 application fee. The application to audit a course(s) can be found on our website at www.charlestonlaw.edu. Unless the applicant seeks admission as a regular student, his/her status and privileges are those of an auditor, and he/she will not receive credit for attendance or work done. Should someone who has previously audited a class enroll as a full- or part-time student, no credit will be granted for course work earned prior to matriculation. Auditors are billed at the current per credit hour rate.

Applicants with Foreign Law School Credit

Applicants who have earned credit from a foreign law school may apply to the Charleston School of Law.  Pursuant to Standard 505 of the American Bar Association’s Standards of Approval for Law Schools, subsection (c), “A law school may admit a student and grant credit for courses completed at a law school outside the United States if the admitting law school would have granted credit towards satisfaction of J.D. degree requirements if earned at the admitting school.”

Upon written request of an admitted applicant, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, in compliance with ABA Standard 505, may grant credit toward a Charleston School of Law J.D. degree for credits earned as part of the individual’s foreign law program.

The request may be made at any time after the J.D. candidate has been admitted, but it must occur at least one semester before the student intends to graduate from the Charleston School of Law.

Students Visiting at the Charleston School of Law

Law students currently enrolled in ABA-accredited law schools who wish to take courses at the Charleston School of Law must submit the following:

  1. Visiting application for admission. Applications are available at www.LSAC.org.
  1. Letter of standing and permission from the Dean of the applicant’s current law school.
  1. LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Law School Report.
  1. A letter stating the reason for visiting status.

The priority deadline for applying as a visiting student is July 1.