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The South Carolina Bar began in 1884 as the South Carolina Bar Association, a voluntary organization of approximately 200 lawyers. The South Carolina State Bar was created in 1968. The two organizations were merged in 1975. Currently the Bar has a membership of more than 11,500.

The House of Delegates establishes policy for the Bar. It meets at least twice a year and includes delegates from each judicial circuit. Between House meetings, the Board of Governors may act on matters not inconsistent with House policy.

The Bar staff is divided into seven divisions: Communications, Continuing Legal Education, Finance, Law Related Education, Membership Services, Public Services and Media and Technology. The Executive Director directs the staff and is responsible to the Board for the Bar's day-to-day operation.

An essential tool for members of the Bar, the South Carolina Lawyer magazine provides insightful analysis of issues pivotal to attorneys. From this page, you can locate articles, peruse past issues or simply learn more about South Carolina Lawyer, one of the finest Bar publications in the nation. Advertising information and submission requirements are also available.

The South Carolina Bar is committed to serving and educating the public through a series of programs and initiatives designed to create an atmosphere of communication and trust.

Classes of Membership.
Members of the South Carolina Bar are divided into eight classes: active, senior, limited license, judicial, military, inactive, retired, and associate members. Membership status is determined as of January 1 each year. A member may change class if that member meets the requirements of the class and pays the difference in annual license fees which would have been owed if that member had been in the subsequent class as of January 1.
(a) Active Members: The active members are all persons licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina who shall have paid the license fees hereinafter specified and who are not included in one of the classes defined below.
(b) Senior Members: Senior members are persons licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina who are sixty-five years of age or older and who, prior to June 1, 1976, filed written notice with the Secretary requesting enrollment as senior members.
(c) Judicial Members: The following persons who are licensed to practice law in this State and who shall have paid the license fees hereinafter specified shall be classified as judicial members: all full-time judges, all full-time magistrates, all full-time state administrative officers who spend the majority of their time in the performance of quasi-judicial functions, all judges of Federal Courts, including Federal Magistrates and Administrative Judges, and all such judges who have retired but are eligible for temporary judicial assignment and are not engaged in the practice of law. A judicial member who is no longer a judge may change his classification to that of an active member by filing with the Secretary a written request and the license fee of an active member.
(d) Military Members: Military members are all persons who are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina and are in the active military service of the United States and shall have paid the license fees hereinafter specified.
(e) Inactive Members: Inactive members are all persons who are licensed to practice law in South Carolina but who do not practice law in South Carolina, have elected to become inactive members, and shall have paid the license fees hereinafter specified. An inactive member who has practiced law in South Carolina or another jurisdiction during the immediately prior twelve months may become an active member by paying the difference in license fees if that member is current with mandatory continuing legal education requirements. After the first twelve months an inactive member who has completed the equivalent of the mandatory continuing legal education requirement for the preceding 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 an active member upon payment of the difference in license fees.
(f) Retired Members: Retired members are all persons who are licensed to practice law in South Carolina but who have retired because of age, serious illness or total and permanent disability. To be eligible for retired membership by reason of age, a member shall have attained age sixty-five or more. After two years, a retired member may return to active member status after completing fourteen hours of continuing legal education, including two hours on legal ethics and professional responsibility.
(g) Associate Members: Associate members are all persons who are not licensed to practice law in South Carolina but who are licensed to practice before the highest court of another state or jurisdiction of the United States or have retired from practice before such court and who shall have paid the license fees hereinafter specified.
(h) Limited License Members: Limited license members are persons licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina under Rules 405 and 414, SCACR.

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