The William T. Howell Prelaw Society serves the needs and interests of Clemson University undergraduates who are interested in the law or thinking about pursuing legal careers. The Society hosts speakers on a variety of legal topics; past speakers have spoken on higher education and the law, the First Amendment and the law school admissions process. The Society also sponsors the Kathryn Williams Ervin mock trial, in which students spend a semester researching and preparing a case to argue before a judge and student jury. The Society has developed a mentorship program that allows Clemson University students to become acquainted with Clemson alumni in the legal field. In addition, the Society has organized day trips to Columbia, South Carolina, where students have toured the University of South Carolina School of Law and attended sessions of the South Carolina Supreme Court.
The society is open to students from any major on the Clemson University campus.
Kathryn Williams Ervin Mock Trial & Kathryn Williams Ervin Professorship in Legal Communication
Every spring semester, members of Clemson’s William T. Howell Prelaw Society participate in a mock trial experience. The mock trial involves students as witnesses and attorneys in “trying” a real case, usually involving murder or wrongful death, before a real jury in a real courtroom.
Since the very first mock trial in the spring of 2004, the activity has been sponsored by The Honorable Thomas J. Ervin, a successful lawyer and former judge, now practicing in Greenville, SC, alongside his wife and fellow prominent attorney, Kathryn Williams Ervin. Judge Ervin named the mock trial to honor his wife on their first wedding anniversary and has continued to support the activity through seven years of mock trials.
This spring, Judge Ervin announced a planned gift of an endowment to support the Kathryn Williams Ervin Professorship in Legal Communication, to be housed in the Department of Communication at Clemson. In so doing, the Ervins have guaranteed support for the William T. Howell Prelaw Society and for the Kathryn Williams Ervin Mock Trial for many years to come. We are so thankful to the Ervins for their remarkable vision and very generous gift to support students of legal communication at Clemson University!