From left to right: Shane S. Scibelli and Kevin M. Phillips, both of the Charleston School of Law; Charlotte Loper of Wake Forest University School of Law; and Patrick Sancomb of the Savannah Law School.
BLUFFTON, SC (July 29, 2016) – Charlotte Loper hasn’t even started law school, but she already has courtroom experience.
Loper, who graduated from Bluffton High in 2012 , and attended the University of South Carolina where she earned undergraduate degrees in political science and criminal justice, was one of four students to complete this summer’s Externship and Career Prosecutor Program through the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Friday wrapped up eight weeks of working in a busy prosecutor’s office. Loper will now head to North Carolina where she begins her first year at Wake Forest University School of Law.
“This experience just solidified the career path that I wanted to follow,” Loper said. “We weren’t just making photocopies or fetching coffee … we were able to trial board the cases and it was a real team effort.”
This marks the fourth year the Solicitor’s Office has opened its doors to undergraduate students and law students for a hands-on experience. Selected students work cases from arrest to disposition.
As a third-year law student at the Charleston School of Law, Kevin Phillips handled several General Sessions cases – including a preliminary hearing and guilty plea — under the state’s limited student practice rule.
“They really encouraged me to be involved,” Phillips said. “The highlight of this whole experience was standing up in General Sessions court and addressing the judge, and being able to ask law enforcement questions. None of my friends at school have done that.”
Phillips plans to graduate this winter and take the state’s bar exam in February 2017.
Fellow Charleston School of Law classmate and Hilton Head Island resident, Shane S. Scibelli, said his time at the Solicitor’s Office offered “an invaluable experience and afforded me the opportunity to see the operational side of law in real time.”