In late 2013, the South Carolina Bar commissioned a study on the economic impact of the legal profession in South Carolina. The study, completed in January 2013 by the Division of Research at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business, 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 Moore School of Business. 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 for use in demonstrating the positive impact South Carolina’s lawyers and law firms have on citizens and communities throughout the state. 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. This impact is seen through the benefit of direct legal services, and reputable statistics on labor income and job creation as well.
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.
Download the study