ALL RISE: SC Supreme Court holds cases at HBCU for audience

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Seeing the South Carolina Supreme Court outside of its courtroom on Gervais Street is a rare sight.

However, SC State students and Orangeburg community members saw the justices of the state’s highest court up close and personally Tuesday.

“It was really great. When I saw the email I thought ‘We’re going to do it right here at South Carolina State?’ It was very exciting,” said SC State freshman Rejoice Anaele.

Chief Justice Donald Beatty returned to his alma mater, South Carolina State University, and heard oral arguments alongside his colleagues from the school’s basketball arena.

“It was really the way that everything went. I’m very interested in being in a courtroom setting. Every aspect stood out to me,” said SC State senior Kerrion Smith. 

Seeing courtroom proceedings is a unique experience for many of the students present, some of whom want to be lawyers themselves. 

“I could see myself being a lawyer or a judge in the future. I enjoy getting into debates about interesting topics so I have thought about that,” said Smith.

“I’m a business economics major,” Anaele said. “I’m going to take the LSAT and go to law school after. That’s the plan.”

She hopes to be an international attorney one day. 

“It’s very important for me to be the bridge between people and the law,” Anaele said. “I can help them with whatever they want to do.”

After court adjourned, the justices took questions from students in the audience. 

The event inspired some younger students to consider a future in law. 

“One of my favorite things to do is reading and writing. I enjoy that very much so this was a fun experience for me,” said middle school student Malachi Jean.

For those closer to graduating from college, it lets them know what they need to focus on if going to law school is a goal for them. 

“I always felt like my reading and writing skills could be sharpened,” Smith said. “I do believe in constantly improving so I need to take more reading, writing and public speaking in order to get better at that.” 

The South Carolina Supreme Court will return to SC State’s campus on Wednesday. They will hear more cases at the Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center beginning at 10. Reporting in Orangeburg. 

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