The Charleston County Bar Association’s 2,000+ member attorneys have a continued commitment to serving the legal profession and the community.

The Charles Town bar began when Nicholas Trott stepped off the ship onto the Charles Town dock in 1699. By 1720, there were 16 members of the Bar in Charles Town, who successfully organized and convinced the British Crown take control of the colony from its Lord’s Proprietors.

By 1750, there were 42 members of the Bar. The Charles Town Bar played an active role in the American Revolution. Bar member John Rutledge served as a member of the Constitutional Convention and first Governor of the State of South Carolina following the ratification of the Constitution, and in 1791 President Washington appointed Rutledge as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson appointed Charleston Bar member William Johnson as a Justice of the US Supreme Court.

In 1826, the Charleston Bar organized the first statewide organization of attorneys. After the Civil War, African-American lawyers opened law practices, but could not join the Bar. The first African American to be elected to a state Supreme Court, Jonathan Jasper Wright, practiced law in Charleston following his term as a member of the South Carolina Supreme Court from 1870 through 1877. A member of the Charleston Law Society, Henry E. Young, became a founding member of and first Vice President of the American Bar Association in 1879. The first female member of the Charleston County Bar, Hannah R. Axelman, was admitted on December 18, 1931.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were 73 members of the Charleston County Bar. At the close of the century, Charleston County Bar membership exceeded 1,000. Currently, the Charleston County Bar has over 2,000 members.

The CCBA is a non-profit organization supported solely by member dues.

CCBA at a Glance :

Established in: 1699
Membership: 2,000+
Gatherings: 3-4 per year
Services to the Profession: CLEs, Mentor Program, Employment Information, Networking Opportunities
Community Programs: Charleston Pro-Bono Legal Services, Center for Heirs Property

Membership Benefits

There are dozens of benefits to being a member of the Charleston County Bar Association including:

  • Receipt of the quarterly CCBA newsletter
  • Opportunity for participation in CCBA committees
  • A listing in the CCBA Attorney Directory
  • Information on CLEs
  • Opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting (held each February)
  • Opportunity to attend the Annual Holiday Party (held each December)
  • Opportunity to participate in other events
  • Participation in the Mentor Program

Application and Dues

Yearly dues for the CCBA are $115 per year. The CCBA fiscal year is Jan. 1 – Dec. 31.  Your application must be accompanied by a check or money order for the appropriate amount. Also, we ask that you email a photograph (preferably color) to secretary@charlestoncountybar.org to be included on the website. If no photograph is available, you may submit one at a later date.