CHARLESTON, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Charleston School of Law will induct James Edward (Ed) Bell III as president and managing partner of the school at a Thursday ceremony at the offices of Garden & Gun magazine.
“I’m honored to serve as president of The Charleston School of Law. I’ve watched this school grow and take shape over the years, and I’m proud that our great state of South Carolina offers students two strong choices for a top-tier legal education. I’m looking forward to the changes that are about to take place at Charleston School of Law. Our vision is one that puts students and faculty first as we move into a future that will include the implementation of innovative learning and teaching opportunities, and mirror our founding motto pro bono populi,” stated President Bell.
Charleston School of Law Dean Andrew L. Abrams will preside over the induction event. Guests will include members of the student body, faculty, staff, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., and Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Duffy, chairman of the school’s Board of Advisers. Their remarks are provided below.
“A new day” for Charleston School of Law
Bell’s passion for service aligns with the founding principles of the school – pro bono populi, which means “for the good of the people.” In his planned remarks, he will express optimism and excitement about the future of the school, calling it a “new day.”
Bell plans to outline his vision for the school over the coming weeks. Key initiatives will include enhancing the original vision of the school’s founders, providing a superior legal education, teaching students courtroom skills through a robust clinics program, and establishing a new law school court which will serve as a court of general sessions.
Future plans include the establishment of a permanent campus in downtown Charleston that will cement the law school’s service commitment to the Charleston community. While serving as President, Bell will continue the practice of law through his firm, Bell Legal Group.
Remarks from speakers at the induction
From the Hon. P. Michael Duffy, chairman of the
Board of Advisors at the Charleston School of Law:
“Ed Bell has breathed new life into the Charleston School of Law. He is an accomplished and respected lawyer who became involved for all the right reasons. His generosity and leadership will allow the school to reach its original goals, benefiting the students, the faculty, the community and the state. It is a happy day in Charleston.”
From Andy Abrams, dean at the Charleston School of
“Ed Bell personifies the motto of the Charleston School of Law – pro bono populi – for the good of the people. A lifelong South Carolinian, through his passion and his persistence, he has spent the last four decades using his outstanding legal skills to ensure that the law is a positive instrument of change. As one of the preeminent trial lawyers in this state, region, and nation, he has profoundly impacted the lives of individuals and communities, which has always been and will continue to be the primary goal of our law school. We are, therefore, honored that Ed Bell is now bringing this same passion and skill to the Charleston School of Law. His arrival signals a bright and exciting future for our law school, and we are truly enthusiastic about what lies ahead for him, for us, and for the people we serve.”
From John Robinson, president of the Alumni Board
at the Charleston School of Law:
“I was excited to speak with Ed Bell and learn about his plans for the Charleston School of Law. What he envisions for the school is exactly what the Alumni Board has fought for over the past two years. I believe he has the ability and vision to make the Charleston School of Law a nationally-prominent school and to rebuild public confidence in an institution with great potential.”
From Matt Kelly, president of the Student Bar
Association at the Charleston School of Law:
“The announcement of Mr. Bell as the new President of the Charleston School of Law provides a new sense of encouragement, vigor, and possibility. As students, we are ecstatic to welcome him into the CSOL community and look forward to working with him. We believe that his leadership, community centric mindset, and legal and business experience are exactly what is needed to bring to fruition the ideals on which the school was originally founded. This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the bright future of the Charleston School of Law.”
About Ed Bell
South Carolina native J. Edward Bell III, founder and senior partner of Bell Legal Group in Georgetown, is an attorney, businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has distinguished himself as a top litigation attorney at local, state and national levels and has tried more than 300 major cases throughout the United States. Bell is a recognized Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rated attorney. He is listed in The American Trial Lawyers Association’s prestigious Top 100 Attorneys; named to Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Benchmark’s Litigation Star; and received the SC Lawyers Weekly Leadership in Law Award. He is the chairman of the board of Garden & Gun magazine, Garden & Gun Land, The Litchfield Company and will now take his place as the president of the Charleston School of Law.
Bell’s work in the legal field is extensive and renowned, yet more notable is his work with students and young attorneys. His history of mentoring students interested in pursuing the law has included assistance with financial aid, internships and housing for national and international students. It is this passion for sharing his knowledge and understanding of the law that led Bell to his newest position as President of the Charleston School of Law.
A graduate of University of South Carolina School of Law, Bell distinguished himself as a top civil litigator in the field of complex litigation law with his success in the demanding auto torts and auto safety field. His unique approach in auto case work led him to establish a Vehicle Safety Research Center, a facility that conducts auto defect investigations, accident re-enactments, develops exhibits, and explores the complex nature of the issues surrounding injury and accident cases. Since its inception, the center has evolved into a multidisciplined Science and Technology Center used to assist attorneys in unraveling technical information associated with trial work.
His legal career continues to bring him national recognition in the fields of environmental law, auto safety, auto defects and product liability. He is a member of the Bars of South Carolina, United States District Court, District of South Carolina; United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and United States Supreme Court.
Bell’s work in environmental law coupled with his love of Southern culture led him to explore opportunities for land development with an emphasis on environmental conservation. In 2010, he became a partner in Garden & Gun Magazine, LLC, a nationally-recognized Southern lifestyle publication. That partnership, along with the acquisition of an established coastal real estate business, The Litchfield Company, LLC, and the inception of Garden & Gun Land, continues to help broaden his environmental pursuits on a national level.
A native of Sumter, Bell lives in Georgetown with his wife, Dawn, and two young children, Jeb and Middleton. He has three grown daughters, Gigi Bell Hammond of Atlanta, Virginia Bell Flynn of Dallas, also an attorney, and Caroline Bell Stowe of Baltimore. Ed volunteers through Duncan United Methodist Church, Helping Hands and Habitat for Humanity and has sponsored numerous programs in area hospitals, schools and youth organizations. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Georgetown, SC, is on the Board of Directors of the Mission Society, Atlanta and former board member of Richmont University, Atlanta.
About the Charleston School of Law
The Charleston School of Law offers students the unique opportunity to study the time-honored practice of law amid the beauty and grace of one of the South’s most historic cities, Charleston, South Carolina. Students at the Charleston School of Law study law as a profession and find a faculty focused on using the law as a calling in the public interest. Faculty members devote their full attention to excellent teaching and scholarship, both in and out of the classroom. Where traditions meet opportunity -- that is Charleston and the Charleston School of Law.