Study reveals economic impact of the legal profession in South Carolina

January 30, 2013

COLUMBIA (January 30, 2013)—On Thursday, the South Carolina Bar received a report on the economic impact of the legal profession in South Carolina. The presentation was made to the House of Delegates, the Bar’s governing body, during its meeting held in Myrtle Beach in conjunction with the annual Bar Convention.

The study found that the total impact of lawyers and law firms on the state of South Carolina is nearly $2.7 billion annually in economic output, which is associated with more than 23,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in labor income. The greatest impact occurs in the Midlands, Upstate and Charleston regions of the state.

The study was conducted and presented by Dr. Joseph C. Von Nessen, Research Economist with the Division of Research at the USC Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Von Nessen said, “The legal profession maintains a strong economic footprint in the state, about 1.4 percent of the gross state product.”

The study was commissioned by the South Carolina Bar for use as another tool for demonstrating the positive impact South Carolina’s lawyers and law firms have on citizens and communities throughout the state. As a result of the study, this impact is not only seen through the benefit of direct legal services, but reputable statistics on labor income and job creation as well.

“Too often the legal profession is attacked for harming jobs and small businesses, and these types of claims can undermine the public’s trust of the legal system and the rule of law that is fundamental to our country. This study demonstrates the reality of what the legal profession contributes in terms of economic activity and jobs for South Carolinians,” said Bar President Angus Macaulay.

According to the report, the statewide employment multiplier is 1.78, indicating that for every 100 jobs created by the legal profession, an additional 78 jobs are added to South Carolina’s economy.

The report can be accessed here.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 14,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

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