CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The commencement speaker at the Charleston School of Law told 162 graduates on Sunday to stand up for the law and use it to help people.
"You will be uniquely qualified to do what lawyers do best - right a wrong," said William C. Hubbard, a business litigator with the Nelson Mullins firm who will be sworn-in as president of the 400,000-member professional legal organization in August. "You will be a defender of justice, a protector of liberty. That is a great opportunity. It is an even greater responsibility. For someone who has not known justice, you can make justice real."
Hubbard highlighted that studies showed 75 percent of poor and middle class Americans were left out of the justice system.
"Help a person resolve financial problems that are holding them back. Protect natural resources. Help someone adopt a child. You have a law degree. The world needs you to right its wrongs. People need you."
President and Dean Andy Abrams echoed Hubbard's message, challenging the members of the Class of 2014 to use their legal education to the fullest.
"'Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.' You should find your passion and pursue it to live a life that, both personally and professionally, truly matters," he said.
According to the school, the 2014 class has provided nearly 28,000 hours of pro bono work to local and state organizations. Charleston School of Law requires each student to donate at least 30 hours to public service to graduate.
The 2014 class averaged almost 140 hours per student.
Graduate Brian P. Justice of Pawleys Island broke school records for public service with 1,747.70 pro bono hours during his law school career. The previous record was 1,550 hours.
"I wanted to learn as much as I could about different practice areas," said Justice, who added that he never set out to break a record. "Seeing the practical side of the law was very beneficial for me. Most importantly, I learned there are a lot of people out there who need help. I felt like I was able to impact people's lives while learning."