Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch
Court News ...

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Re: Amendments to Rule 408, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules

Appellate Case No. 2014-002159


The Chief Justice's Commission on the Profession has proposed amending Rule 408, SCACR, to require that newly admitted members complete an Essentials Series course during their first annual Continuing Legal Education reporting year.        

Pursuant to Article V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, we amend Rule 408, SCACR, as set forth in the attachment to this order.  Additionally, Rule 420, SCACR, is amended to provide that the Commission on the Profession shall have the responsibility to ensure the presence of a professionalism component in the Essentials Series Program.  The amendments are effective immediately.

s/Jean H. Toal                                  C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                          J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                             J.

s/John W. Kittredge                             J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                  J.

Columbia, South Carolina
November 12, 2014

Rule 408(a)(3), SCACR, is amended to read as provided below, with the current paragraph (a)(3) renumbered as paragraph (a)(4)

(3) Continuing Legal Education Requirements for the First Reporting Year after Admission.  Newly admitted members are exempt from CLE requirements during the reporting year in which they are admitted to the South Carolina Bar.  The first required reporting year for newly admitted members begins on March 1 after the date of admission.  Before the end of the first required reporting year, newly admitted members admitted pursuant to Rule 402, SCACR, unless exempt as set forth below, must complete an Essentials Series course administered by the South Carolina Bar, in addition to satisfying the CLE requirements in (a)(2) above.  Hours earned by attendance at an Essentials Series course will be applied to the member's first required reporting year.  Members who live and practice outside of South Carolina may take an Essentials Series course online.  The following newly admitted members shall be exempt from completing an Essentials Series course:

(A)  members called to active military duty and who elect to become Military Members under 410(h)(1)(E), SCACR;

(B)  inactive members who remain inactive through the end of the first required reporting year;

(C)  members who have been admitted to practice law in another jurisdiction for at least two (2) years prior to admission in South Carolina;

(D)  members who took the South Carolina Bar's Bridge the Gap Program prior to March 2013.


Rule 420(c)(4), SCACR, is amended to provide:

(4) To ensure the presence of a professionalism component in the Bridge the Gap and Essentials Series Programs;