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What is Bridge the Gap?
Rule 402(c) of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules sets forth the requirements for admission to practice law in South Carolina. Rule 402(c)(8) requires all South Carolina Bar applicants to successfully complete the Bridge the Gap program sponsored by the South Carolina Bar, under the directive of the South Carolina Supreme Court, prior to admission to practice law. Bridge the Gap is a one-day intensive course sanctioned by the South Carolina Supreme Court and coordinated by the SC Bar-CLE Division. The program focuses on practical nuts and bolts skills. It is designed to assist both the 3L law student in transition from law school to the practice of law and the lawyer new to the practice of law in South Carolina.
What is the SC Bar-CLE Division?
The SC Bar-CLE Division is a self-supporting non-profit provider of quality MCLE and LEPR seminars. We present live, video replay, online, webcast and teleseminar programs covering every major practice area ex: ethics, technology, law office management and trial and practice skills. Most of our live presentations are held at the SC Bar Conference Center on Fridays and are broadcast to as many as 12 satellite locations around South Carolina. We also produce and publish outstanding books and software covering all major practice and skills areas.
Who Should Attend?
All candidates for admission to the South Carolina Bar must complete the Bridge the Gap program as set out in Rule 402(c). Bridge The Gap registrants will include third year law school students, law school graduates, attorneys licensed to practice in other states, and may include *Inactive members of the SC Bar seeking to return to Regular status. Attorneys licensed and practicing in South Carolina are not eligible to receive CLE credit for Bridge The Gap unless they have received special permission from the S.C. Supreme Court Commission on CLE and Specialization. *An Inactive bar member who has practiced law in South Carolina or another jurisdiction during the immediate prior twelve months may become a Regular member by paying the difference in license fees if that member is current with mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements. After the first twelve months an Inactive member who has completed the equivalent of the mandatory continuing legal education requirement for the proceeding calendar year, and who has filed a compliance statement with the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and paid the filing fee may become a Regular member upon payment of the difference in license fees.
What Should I Expect?
The Bridge the Gap program offers instruction on professional responsibility issues, lawyer discipline and malpractice, information on building a client base, law office technology, a review of arbitration and mediation, and instructions for practicing in all areas of the South Carolina court system.
May I Attend/View Bridge the Gap Online or by Video Replay?
Bridge the Gap is not offered in an online format. Most applicants for admission will attend Bridge the Gap in person at a scheduled live session. Graduates of the University of South Carolina School of Law and the Charleston School of Law are required to attend Bridge the Gap in person at one of the three annual live sessions. Applicants graduating from law schools outside of South Carolina are also strongly encouraged to attend a live session, but may attend an annual October video replay in Columbia. Again, the October video replay is available to graduates from out-of-state law schools only. No exceptions!
How Much Does it Cost?
Early bird tuition received no later than two weeks prior to Bridge the Gap is $250. Regular rate is $300. This cost includes electronic materials, a complimentary SC Bar publication, morning and afternoon refreshments and a box lunch. A typical one-day, six-hour SC Bar CLE seminar cost approximately $230.
Who are the Faculty Members?
The faculty for the program features members of South Carolina's Judiciary and the SC Bar. These professionals offer a wealth of practical knowledge and experience, both in their presentations and in the materials prepared for the course. Bridge the Gap faculty members do not receive monetary compensation or special teaching credit for their participation. Faculty members speak and provide extensive materials strictly on a voluntary basis.
What about Materials?
Materials for the Bridge the Gap program are provided electronically. The information provided is designed to give you a brief substantive overview and a practical nuts and bolts approach to the practice of law.
How is my Attendance Reported?
Upon successful completion of the Bridge the Gap program, your attendance will automatically be reported to the South Carolina Supreme Court. In the calendar year of admission, a new attorney has no filing requirement for CLE and no courses taken will be counted. If you have questions about CLE credit hours, please contact the SC Supreme Court's Commission on CLE & Specialization at (803) 799-5578 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about other requirements for admission to the SC Bar or being sworn-in, please contact the SC Supreme Court's Office of Bar Admissions at (803) 734-1080.
As a New Admittee, What are my MCLE/LEPR Requirements?
Bridge the Gap fulfills your requirements for the reporting period in which you are admitted.
This seminar qualifies for 6.5
MCLE credit hours including up to 1.0 LEPR credit hour.
Please note that you can only obtain 6.0 MCLE hours, including 1.0 LEPR credit hour. The .5 MCLE cannot be rolled over to the next compliance deadline, as per SC Commission on CLE & Specialization rules and regulations.
When submitting your compliance reports to the SC Commission on CLE and Specialization, please use this course code if you completed the program in 2019 : 191142ADO