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Connecting to South Carolina Courts
 
South Carolina Circuit Courts
 
To contact the county Circuit Courts, look in the government pages of the telephone directory or call South Carolina Court Administration at (803) 734-1800. The telephone numbers for the Clerk of Court Office in each county are also posted on the court system website at www.sccourts.org/clerksCourt/clerkMap.cfm
 
South Carolina Court of Appeals
1015 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC  29201
(803) 734-1890
 
Tours of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, which is located in Columbia, can be arranged by calling the Court of Appeals' Clerk of Court's Office at (803)734-1890.  Arrangements can be made to sit in on an oral argument while visiting the court.
 
South Carolina Supreme Court
1231 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC  29201
(803) 734-1080
 
The South Carolina Supreme Court currently offers two programs for students - the Class Action Program and the Case of the Month (see page 109).  However, tours of the building are available at other times by calling the Supreme Court Clerk of Court's Office at (803) 734-1080. 
 
Federal Courts in South Carolina (the Fourth Circuit) 
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Aiken Division
Charles E. Simmons, Jr. Federal Courthouse
223 Park Avenue, SW
Aiken, SC  29801
803-648-6896
The Aiken Division hears cases from Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties.
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Anderson/Greenwood Division
G. Ross Anderson, Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse
315 South McDuffie Street, 2nd Floor
Anderson, SC  29624
The Anderson/Greenwood Division hears cases from Anderson, Oconee, Pickens, Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda Counties. 
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Beaufort Division
Beaufort Federal Courthouse
1501 Bay Street
Beaufort, SC  29902
843-521-2088
The Beaufort Division hears cases from Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Charleston Division
Charleston Federal Courthouse
85 Broad Street
Columbia, SC  29401
843-579-1401
The Charleston Division hears cases from Charleston, Berkeley, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester and Georgetown counties.
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Columbia Division
Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Courthouse
901 Richland Street
Columbia, SC  29201
803-765-5816
The Columbia Division hears cases from Richland, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, and Sumter counties.  In addition, the Rock Hill Division, which covers Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster and York counties, and the Orangeburg Division, which covers Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg Counties, also hear cases at this courthouse.
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Florence Division
McMillan Federal Building
401 West Evans Street
Florence, SC  29501
843-676-3820
The Florence Division hears cases from Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg counties.
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Greenville Division
Clement F. Haynsworth Federal Building
300 East Washington Street
Greenville, SC  29601
864-241-2700
The Greenville Division hears cases from Greenville and Laurens counties.
 
U.S. District Court for the District of SC, Spartanburg Division
Donald S. Russell Federal Building
201 Magnolia Street
Spartanburg, SC  29301
864-241-2711
The Spartanburg Division hears cases from Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties.
 
Other Teacher Resources
 
ABA Constitution Day
This website is filled with resources for teachers. The American Bar Association sponsors the creation of lesson plans, and contests for students all centered on celebrating the Constitution.  The website includes information on publications and resources, lesson plans for all grade levels, and a Constitution Day resource packet available in limited supply hard copy format as well as electronic.
 
American Judicature Society
Wonderful website for teachers to sign on for free with free lesson plans, etc. The American Judicature Society works to maintain the independence and integrity of the courts and increase public understanding of the justice system.  The website includes information on publications and resources, judicial selection, forensic science, a pro se forum, a jury center and high school curriculum. 
 
Annenberg Classroom
This website promotes civic education in the real world. The website includes a breakdown of the Constitution as a guide in understanding the Constitution, includes teaching materials to include numerous lesson plans, and a fabulous glossary on democracy terminology.
 
Back to School Program
The America's Legislators Back to School Program is an annual nation-wide event that "kicks off" the third week of September and runs through the school year. NCSL makes available, free of charge, a publication and video resource materials for high school, middle/junior high school and elementary school students to be used by state legislators visiting classrooms in conjunction with the program. To request copies of the materials, please contact South Carolina’s Legislation Coordinator Sally Cauthen with the Senate Education Committee at 412 Gressette Building, 1101 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 212-6252, fax (803) 212-6299, or e-mail at sallycauthen@scsenate.org.
 
Bill of Rights Institute
This website not only studies the first 10 Amendments to the US Constitution, but it is a great website for students and teachers alike.  The student section includes programs, essay contests and study guides. The section for teachers includes links to free resources, ready made lesson plans, and Constitutional seminars for teachers, information on Constitution Day and daily news stories. 
 
Case of the Month
Each month, when the Supreme Court is in session, a case which is to be argued before the Supreme Court will be highlighted.  Materials available on-line will include a summary of the case, links to the briefs and the Court of Appeals decision (if applicable), and an audio/video recording of the oral argument.  Educators can sign up to receive e-mail notification when the Court issues its decision in a particular case.  Through this program, the Court hopes to introduce students to the appellate process, to a variety of legal issues confronting the Court today, and to legal research. 
 
Center on Congress
This website has materials for teachers with interactive learning modules, importance on civic participation, rankings of voter participation by state, information on notable members of Congress and facts of Congress.  This website truly can be used in the classroom.
 
Class Action Program
South Carolina Supreme Court, Betsy Goodale (803) 734-1160
This program, offered by the South Carolina Supreme Court once a month from September through June, is designed to bring middle school and high school students to the Supreme Court to hear oral argument.  Afterwards, the Justices meet with the students for approximately 30 minutes to talk about law-related issues of interest and to answer questions.   Briefs, case summaries and other information about the Court are sent to the students prior to their visit.  Contact Betsy Goodale at (803) 734-1160 or at bgoodale@sccourts.org for more information or to schedule a visit.
 
Constitution Center
This website includes information about the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the National Constitution Center Museum.  Includes innovative resources, lesson plans, opportunities for professional development and exploration.
 
Constitution Day
This website includes information on the Preamble, a listing of Ratification or Entry by State and year, education materials for study to include 212 questions with answers, flyers for an educational institution and items available for Constitution Day.
 
Constitutional Rights Foundation
Constitutional Rights Foundation seeks to instill in our nation's youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights and to educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society. CRF is dedicated to assuring our country's future by investing in our youth today.  The second link has pre-made lesson plans on the Constitution ready for classroom application.
 
Federal Courts - Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
The federal courts have lesson plans about the federal judicial system that teachers may use for free. Some of that material is included in this book and more is available on the “Courts to Classes” program page at www.uscourts.gov/outreach. It also may be useful to conduct one or more basic lessons—perhaps with the help of a judge or court employee—while the students visit the court. If you choose to conduct a lesson while at the court, talk to the judge or other court employee beforehand to make sure that they understand their roles in the learning process.
 
Federal Resource for Educational Excellence
This website maintained by the United States Department of Education.  It contains more than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources from dozens of federal agencies.  It has primary documents, photos, videos, animations, and lesson plans broken out by topical area and keyword searchable. 
 
Find Law: Find a Lawyer. Find Answers
This website allows viewers to browse legal information by categories to include accidents and injuries, bankruptcy and debt, car accidents, civil rights, criminal law, dangerous products, divorce and family law, DUI/DWI, employee rights, estate planning, immigration, real estate, small business, traffic violations and much more. 
 
History Day 
National History Day is an educational program for students in grades 4-12. Students research and develop topics related to an annual theme and present their conclusions in exhibits, performances, documentaries, websites or historical papers. The state competition is held at the SC History and Acrhives each April. Winners of the various categories at the state competition advance to the  National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June of each year.
 
iCivics
iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support.  iCivics has interactive games for each of the branches of government for students, as well as free lesson plans and materials for teachers, and resources for lawyers going into the classroom to provide civics education.
 
Institute for Public Service and Policy Research at University of SC
The Institute for Public Service and Policy Research is an interdisciplinary research and public service unit of the University of South Carolina. Its principal purpose is to address current and emerging issues relating to matters of public policy, governance, and leadership through research, educational activities, publications, and direct assistance programs. The goal of the Institute is to improve the quality of social, political, environmental, and economic life, with a primary focus in South Carolina.
 
Landmark Supreme Court Cases
This is a fabulous website for anyone interested in landmark historical cases like Brown v. Board of Education in addition to 17 other cases to choose from. In addition to the landmark cases, the website offers tools for general teacher strategies to include case study, moot court activity, role play, continuum, community resources, tools to evaluate web sites, political cartoon analysis and scored discussion. The website also includes information on various concepts to include Federalism, the Federalist Papers, Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances, Equal Protection of the Laws, National Supremacy, Judicial Review, Due Process (generally), Due Process and Police Interrogations, Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause. 
 
Law Dictionary
This site is a user friendly electronic law dictionary that provides in depth definitions with easy access.
 
Law Day and Planning Guide
Local courthouses celebrate with mock trials, tours, legal advice booths, and other activities. The American Bar Association has resources available to include a law day planning guide and additional Information on law day art, law day events, and a law day store.  Teachers may want to access the guide to connect with the Law Day. The guide also provides speaking points on various areas of the law, information on how to set up essay contests, and order forms for publications.
 
LawForKids.Org (South Carolina)
LawForKids.org is a free website available to South Carolina youth that explains juvenile laws in a manner that can be read quickly and understood easily.  There are quizzes, interactive games, cartoons, comics, law documents, searchable sections on South Carolina law and how it affects young people, as well as links for other law related education websites and websites for research and homework assistance.  Perhaps most important to youth who visit LawForKids.org are the interactive forums in which young people may ask questions about the law and receive correct, factual information from volunteer lawyers.  So often educating about the law is not only informative as to the actual content of the law, but also dispelling the myths that have become commonplace in society.
 
Law For Teachers
Law for Teachers is a program designed to give teachers an informative and practical guide to the legal issues they face every day in the classroom.  The creation of this unique training was derived from multiple requests submitted by teachers at other law related education trainings in favor of this very training that did not exist for teachers at the time. Teachers were interested in how the laws applied to them specifically in their profession in every aspect. 
 
Understanding the law that applies to teachers covers many important components that apply to teachers of all disciplines. Beyond providing ample information to teachers, the best part about the training is that the presenters present on all sixteen individual subjects in a manner that a lay person can understand.  And, the discussions are not specific to any region of the state, but are based on state laws as a whole. Each topic is broken down into FREE sessions available as in-person, webinar or video replay sessions.
 
Let's Go
(Middle and High School) Let's Go! is made possible through SC ETV's knowitall.org.  Let's Go! takes users on virtual field trips to historic locations in South Carolina without leaving the classroom. Using a mouse, students can navigate through panoramic images of outdoor locations and building interiors. By zooming in on "hot spots," students can see detailed, close up images, hear narratives, or watch short videos about interesting people, objects, and places. You can currently take a tour of the South Carolina State House and much more.
 
Library of Congress
This website provides comprehensive resources on popular topics such as the Civil War, Thomas Jefferson, the Great Depression, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Additional resources accessible on this site includes classroom features and activities, images on popular topics, lesson plans, prints and photographs, research centers, teacher’s guides, thematic resources, webcasts for teachers and much more.
  
Mock Trial: Middle School and High School
South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
(803) 252-5139
The South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division has ran the Mock Trial program for numerous years. Each year schools from around the state learn about the law and the justice system through participation in a simulated trial in middle school competitions in the fall as well as high school competitions in the spring of each year.  Materials and training information are available through the South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division.
 
National Archives and Records Administration
This website provides viewers an opportunity to explore and interact with the website to include a national archives experience, a look at America’s Historical documents, access to online exhibits and presidential libraries. 
 
National Flag Foundation
National Flag Foundation (NFF) has patriotic education programs for schools in each state.  NFF is a leader in Patriotic education and provides 500+ schools across the country with multimedia educational materials which address the topics of our nation’s flag, voting and citizenship. 
 
Opportunities in Law
A publication with information on careers in the law.
 
Ready to Vote
(Middle and High School) Ready to Vote (RTV) is made possible through SC ETV's knowitall.org. Are your students Ready To Vote? South Carolina ETV designs RTV as an outreach project of the network's election coverage every election year. The goal of Ready To Vote is to involve as many South Carolina teens in the American electoral experience as possible.
This site provides an online quiz based on eight educational content pages about voting to include: Why bother?, It's your right!, GOV•ERN•MENT, What's stopping you?, Step up!, Who's who?, Look out!, and Know Where To Go! 
Once students complete the quiz, they will receive an activated RTV Voter Card that will give the student access to two more areas on this site. The card assigns the student a RTV registration number to be used as a password to sign onto the site, to Vote on bi-weekly issues and to discuss those issues on the Knowitall Talks! posting board. 
Ready To Vote also features a RTV Reports section where students can read and watch reports by student journalists from South Carolina. Students interested in participating in this area by writing an article or producing a video package are asked to submit their work.  There are also designed classroom activities to complement the Ready to Vote project. 
Using Ready To Vote Web site in your classroom encourages students to participate in the election process.
 
Representative Democracy in America: Voices of the People
The Represenative Democracy website includes many features for teachers.  The website includes The American Democracy Television network, which provides quality, timely and flexible video programs that public, education and government channels, public access stations, statewide networks and others can use to engage citizens with their representative government.  The website also includes products and resources developed to improve public understanding of representative democracy and encourage Americans to play a responsible role in their government; strengthen classroom teaching about representative democracy; provide legislators and staff with resource materials to help improve public understanding of their institutions; and support research on public views about Congress and state legislatures. The website also includes classroom materials that approach representative democracy from the point of view of elementary, middle, and high school students that are designed to support America's Legislators Back to School Program. Lastly, the website includes television documentaries about representative democracy that describe how it works and the relationship between the people and their elected officials
 
Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University
The Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics, and Public Leadership is a multi-faceted, non-partisan institute affiliated with the Department of Political Science at Furman University. Named for former Governor of South Carolina and United States Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, the Institute is unique in the United States in the emphasis it places on engaging students in the various arenas of politics, public policy, and public leadership.  Web site includes information on policy events, institutes, conferences, etc. 
 
Scoot
(Grades 3-8) Scoot is made possible through SC ETV's knowitall.org.  Scoot is based on a publication from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Scoot is a game designed to teach about legendary South Carolina people, places, and events. Students take a trip through South Carolina with Skeeter, an animated scooter, and stops in each county for some information about a local historic marker. Photographs, videos, virtual tours, and animations serve to enhance each location. Students earn points by answering quiz questions correctly. Scores are saved, so students can stop playing Scoot and return to it later without having to start over. 
 
Social Studies Standards for South Carolina
Review up to date social studies standards for South Carolina on the SC Department of Education's website. Curriculum guides for the various social studies courses built around the state standards are also available at the site. Textbooks adopted by the state are correlated to the standards in accordance with the Education Accountability Act.
 
South Carolina Supreme Court Institute
South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division 
(803) 252-5139
The Institute brings high school and middle school teachers from around the state together with Supreme Court justices, circuit court judges, attorneys, and university professors, for five and half days of hands-on learning about the court system. Attendees have group discussions with judges representing various courts, meet in person the Justices of the SC Supreme Court, observe an oral argument in the SC Supreme Court and participate in a moot court activity.  Attendees receive valuable information on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program and learn about the Separation of Powers. Attendees leave with a wealth of first hand knowledge, materials, lesson plans, and more.  The Institute is made possible with the collaboration of several partners to include the South Carolina Supreme Court, South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division, Nelson Mullins Law Office, American Bar Association and the Center for Civic Education. 
 
South Carolina Judicial System Web Site
The website also provides up-to-the-minute opinion releases from the South Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, calendars for both courts’ hearings, and information about the history, structure, function, and recent initiatives of all levels of court.
 
South Carolina Supreme Court Roster of Cases
A monthly, plain-English summary of upcoming cases being heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
 
Street Law
South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
(803) 252-5139
Street Law is practical, participatory education about law, democracy and human rights. Through its philosophy and programs, Street Law empowers people to transform democratic ideals into citizen action with each student gaining lessons that can be used for life.   
 
Strom Thurmond Public Policy Institute at Clemson University
The Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs is a Public Service Activity (PSA) of Clemson University. Established in 1981, the Institute conducts applied research and service in public policy areas, drawing on the expertise of Clemson University faculty, staff and students. The Institute also enhances awareness of current public policy issues on the campus and throughout the state and region through informal and formal educational programs.  The website not only includes current events, but history of the Institute as well.
 
Supreme Court History
This website includes the history of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court Historical Society, and how the court works. The website has additional links to a learning center and offers the ability to research the Court. The learning center link includes cases for and about students, women’s rights, cases about gender law, landmark cases, their Supreme Court Institute for teachers, and offers curriculum support.
 
Supreme Court Institute (United States)
Street Law, Inc, - Ethan Kennedy (301) 589-1130, ext. 231  ekennedy@streetlaw.org 
The Supreme Court Institute held in Washington, DC each year includes six stimulating days on Capitol Hill and inside the US Supreme Court.  The Institute also includes an opportunity to hear the Justices announce final decisions of the term - from a seat. In the courtroom, question prominent Supreme Court litigators about the Court's inner workings, debate the leading cases of that year's term, discuss "Media Coverage of the Supreme Court" with a newspaper reporter, question key Senate Judiciary Committee staffers, develop lessons on the Supreme Court to use in your classroom, attend a private reception at the Court, and conduct a moot court of a key case being decided in the current term with the assistance of lawyers involved in the case. Participants who conduct training for other teachers after returning from the Institute are eligible to receive a stipend of $200.
 
Teachers and the Courts
South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
For all of the teachers that miss out on the opportunity to attend the SC Supreme Court Institute, this resource is for them. This is an electronic resources covering South Carolina and Federal Courts, and is meant to be both informative and educational.  Included in the chapters below are student friendly materials on all the levels of SC and Federal Courts, as well as links to great cases to use in the classroom! 
 
University of South Carolina Law Library
Coleman Karesh Law Library provides access to legal research resources. Reference staff will provide assistance in person, or by telephone, fax, or e-mail. Library tours and workshops on using legal information are also available on request. The Coleman Karesh Law Library provides access to the catalog of library resources, links to government and law-related resources, and a section on South Carolina legal topics that provides information on subjects from adoption to wills. Copies of the various courts reporters are available for use in the library. The catalog of the library is available online at http://libcat.csd.sc.edu/search~S11.html 
 
US Courts
This website takes guests to a website that encompasses the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the District Courts and Bankruptcy Courts.   The website has sections about the courts, latest news, library, additional court links and a frequently asked questions section.
 
US Executive Branch
This website takes viewers to all of the executive branch departments.
 
US Government’s Official Website
Provides government information by category. Has a section that takes kids and or teachers to www.kids.gov that has information provided by grade level and information provided just for teachers.
 
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
(803) 252-5139
This is a national program directed by the Center for Civic Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Based on curriculum designed to promote a deeper understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the goal is to promote civic competence and responsibility among elementary and secondary students. The curriculum is created to involve students in the learning process and give them an opportunity to analyze and discuss a particular problem or issue related to the subject of the lesson. The culminating activity of the materials is a mock congressional hearing.
 
We the People: Project Citizen
South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
(803) 252-5139
This is a national program directed by the Center for Civic Education and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. We the People: Project Citizen is a civic education program for elementary, middle, and high school students that promotes competent and responsible participation in state and local government. It actively engages students in learning how to monitor and influence public policy and encourages civic participation among students, their parents, and members of the community.