USC School of Law has a new name

The USC Law School has been officially renamed in honor of Joe Rice, with a $30 million donation supporting scholarships and establishing an advocacy endowment.

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New signage was unveiled at the USC School of Law. | Photo by COLAtoday

USC has renamed its law school to the Joseph F. Rice School of Law, honoring alumnus and benefactor Joe Rice of the MotleyRice law firm. This change, announced on Friday during a ceremony, recognizes Joe’s contributions, including a $30 million investment for scholarships and endowed professorships.

A prominent plaintiff trial lawyer, he’s had several high-profile national litigations, including a $246 billion civil settlement against the tobacco industry, and two settlements regarding the BP oil spill. His donations have supported student scholarships and established the Lisa S. Rice and Ann E. Rice Ervin Child Advocacy Award Endowment for students who complete the children’s law concentration.

The renaming marks the third USC academic unit named after a donor. The newly minted Joseph F. Rice School of Law celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017 by opening its new building at Gervais, Bull, Senate, and Pickens Streets. The building anchors the school’s legal corridor, including the Children’s Law Center, the National Advocacy Center, South Carolina’s Statehouse, and the Supreme Court.