USC Paralegal Certificate Program

Information for specific audiences:

Upcoming Programs

Online Program
July 11, 2016 – December 21, 2016

  • Meets Mon/Wed
  • 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Enroll Today!

Classroom Program
September 10, 2016 - February 25, 2017

  • Meets Saturday
  • 9:00am – 4:00pm

Enroll Today!

Tuition for the Paralegal Certificate is $4,995 (includes all textbooks or e-textbooks).


USC Paralegal Certificate Instructors

See what students are saying about the program and its instructors...

Robert "Sam" PhillipsRobert "Sam" Phillips: Tort Law & Personal Injury

Robert B. (Sam) Phillips currently serves as the Director of the Certificate of Need (CON) Program with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).  The CON Program regulates the creation and expansion of hospitals and other health care facilities and programs.  It guides the establishment of health facilities and services which best serve public need, ensures high quality services are provided and contains costs.  Mr. Phillips also serves as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate General for the South Carolina State Guard where he represents the Guard and the South Carolina Military Department in administrative and litigation matters as well as providing legal advice to their commanders.

Prior to joining DHEC, Mr. Phillips was a trial and appellate lawyer with the Finkel Law Firm, LLC where he maintained a state-wide practice focusing on business disputes, construction defects, contract law, personal injury, probate, product liability and real property matters.  He also served as lead or co-lead counsel in several tort class actions.  Mr. Phillips began his legal career clerking for the Honorable Jasper M. Cureton with the South Carolina Court of Appeals.

Before attending law school, Mr. Phillips served as an Armor and Cavalry Officer with the United States Army in Europe and the Middle East.  He also worked for Marathon Oil Company as a district manager where he represented the Company in environmental, unemployment and workers compensation matters.

Patrick McCabePatrick A. McCabe:  Introduction to Law

Patrick A. McCabe, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio worked as a firefighter/ paramedic before receiving his Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati in 2005. Patrick received his Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2009 where he was a member of Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity and served as President of the Student Bar Association.  Admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 2011, Patrick’s main areas of practice are collections and foreclosure law. He currently resides in Irmo with his wife and four children.




Derek A. ShoemakeDerek A. Shoemake:  Civil Litigation

Derek A. Shoemake has taught in the University of South Carolina's paralegal certification program since 2010. He currently teaches Civil Litigation, and has taught both Introduction to Law and Legal Writing.

Derek, an experienced litigator, works as an attorney at Simmons Law Firm and has represented clients – both corporate and individual – before state and federal courts. In addition to his litigation experience, Derek has authored several legal articles in a variety of publications and clerked for two federal judges in the District of South Carolina: the Honorable G. Ross Anderson, Jr. and the Honorable R. Bryan Harwell. Derek further distinguished himself in law school, where he served on the South Carolina Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Before law school, Derek worked as an editor for The Item, a newspaper in Sumter, S.C., worked as a defense contractor for the General Dynamics Corporation, and served in the United States Marine Corps until his honorable discharge as a Sergeant. During his time in service, Derek received several decorations, including five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

When not practicing law, Derek serves as a Commissioner on the South Carolina Athletic Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Services Carolinas, a non-profit organization whose mission includes providing refugee resettlement services, housing for homeless veterans, retirement communities, and foster care and adoption services. Derek also enjoys spending time with his wife and their two children.

Kate CraterKate Crater: Legal Research and Writing

Kate Herbein Crater is the Deputy Chief Staff Attorney with the South Carolina Court of Appeals. Along with the Chief Staff Attorney, Kate manages a central staff of fifteen attorneys, researches and analyzes legal issues before the court, presents motions and other legal issues to the judges, drafts opinions and orders, and handles emergency motions and petitions. Kate completed her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina, where she graduated with distinction. She went on to graduate cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In law school, Kate worked as the Research Editor for the South Carolina Law Review, was a member of the pro bono board, and was selected to join both the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Wig and Robe. Kate received CALI awards in Bankruptcy and Legal & Equitable Remedies.

Janet HaiglerJanet B. Haigler: Family Law

Janet B. Haigler is a member of Haigler Law Firm LLC and has practiced in the area of bankruptcy, creditor rights, and commercial litigation for over twenty years.  In 2014, Ms. Haigler was appointed by the Office of the United States Trustee as a Chapter 7 Panel Trustee for the District of South Carolina.  Ms. Haigler is certified by the South Carolina Supreme Court as a Specialist in Bankruptcy and Debtor-Creditor Law.  A frequent lecturer on bankruptcy, she served as a member of the Advisory and Local Rules Committee for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina and has been named one of the top attorneys in South Carolina on the Super Lawyers list.  As an adjutant professor, Ms. Haigler has taught legal research, bankruptcy, and family law.   Ms. Haigler can be reached at Haigler Law Firm LLC, Post Office Box 505, Chapin, South Carolina 29036, phone number 803-261-9806.

Lisa M. HostetlerLisa M. Hostetler: Contract Law

Lisa Hostetler is Managing Attorney of LawyerLisa, LLC. Her practice concentrates on real estate law, contract drafting, estate planning, probate and elder law. Lisa is AV rated and licensed to practice in North and South Carolina. Lisa is the President-Elect of the Palmetto Land Title Association and former Chair of the Scholarship Committee. She recently received the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Star Award, the Influential Women in Business Rising Star Award, Legal Elite of the Midlands, the State Newpaper’s 20 Under 40 Honor and the 2015 Irmo Chamber New Business of the Year Award.

Jordan StallingsJordan T. Stallings: Contract Law

Jordan T. Stallings is an associate attorney with Blair Cato Pickren Casterline, LLC. Jordan concentrates his practice in real estate matters, including real estate transactions, contract review and drafting, title issue resolution, and estate planning. While obtaining dual Bachelor degrees in Real Estate and Finance at the University of South Carolina, Jordan worked for a number of property management companies in a variety of roles ranging from leasing and management to sales and marketing. Prior to law school, he gained extensive lending experience as a loan officer at Carolina Collegiate Federal Credit Union.

While attending law school at the University of South Carolina, Jordan founded and became President of the Real Estate Law Society. He also served as a Staff Member for the Real Property Trust and Estate Law Journal, served on the Graduate Student Finance Committee, and was a Student Attorney for the Non-Profit Organizations Clinic. Jordan received CALI awards in Real Estate Transactions, Legal Research and Writing, Advanced Evidence, and Liberty Seminar. During this time, Jordan was also employed as a Law Clerk at Rogers Townsend where he went on to become an associate attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Department.

Cathy Boette: Career Preparation

Cathy Boette is the Director of Professional Programs at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where she has worked for more than 30 years.  Ms. Boette is responsible for overseeing the Firm's Paralegal and Policy Advisor Programs and the Firm's Summer Undergraduate Internship Program.

Ms. Boette is an experienced litigation paralegal with 20 years of experience assisting on a variety of litigation matters, and she has over 10 years of executive legal management experience.  In her current role, Ms. Boette manages a staff of over 100 paralegals, policy advisors, nurses, and project assistants throughout the Firm's 14 office locations.  As a senior administrator, Ms. Boette oversees hiring and recruiting, training and development, and workloads.

Ms. Boette earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and she earned a Paralegal Certificate, with Honors, from the National Center for Paralegal Training in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Boette serves on the Firm's Paralegal and Policy Advisor Committees and the Firm's Project Management Task Force.  She is a member of the International Practice Management Association and is the Co-Chair of the Carolinas Chapter.  Additionally, Ms. Boette has served on paralegal program advisory boards, the Palmetto Paralegal Association Executive Board, and she teaches career seminars to students in The University of South Carolina Paralegal Certificate Program.

Edgar Smith, Jr.Edgar Smith, Jr.: Career Preparation

Civil Frauds Investigator, Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina.

Ed is presently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Law Firm Management at the George Washington University, College of Professional Studies. His anticipated graduation date is December 2015.

Ed graduated Magna Cum Laude from South University, Columbia, SC 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies.

Ed retired from the United States Navy with 20 years of service in 2004. His military career culminated with him serving as the Personnel Officer for the Naval Reserve Center, Columbia where he supervised training and administration in the support of over 300 naval reservists.

Ed began his current career in the Civil Division of the US Attorney’s Office as a Paralegal Specialist where he primarily worked on Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) and Health Care Fraud cases. In 2008 he became the Legal Support Manager for the Criminal Division where he supervised thirteen Legal Assistants and Paralegals in support of the government’s prosecution of federal crimes in the state of South Carolina.

In 2010 Ed became the District of South Carolina’s District Office Security Manger with the responsibility of personal and physical safety and security for employees of the US Attorney’s Office.

In 2011 Ed received his warrant and appointment as a United States Contracting Officer where he administers the contracts of expert witnesses for the government.

Ed also serves on the Paralegal Advisory Board at South University, as Treasurer of Second Calvary Baptist Church and as a high school football official and member of the South Carolina Football Official’s Association.

Craig HardestyCraig Hardesty:  Career Preparation

Craig Hardesty is the Regional Human Resources Manager for McGuireWoods.  Prior to joining McGuireWoods, he was the Manager of Paralegal Services for King & Spalding and the Director of Human Resources for an international software company. Craig received his paralegal certificate from NCPT: The National Center for Paralegal Training where he subsequently taught a variety of courses and served as the Director of Career Services, Dean of Students, and the Executive Director. Before joining NCPT, Craig was a paralegal and the program administrator for the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless and a Policy Associate for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Towson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University.

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