Money, not merit, helps Murdaugh’s son go back to law school


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Let’s stop rowing through Murdaugh’s cesspool just long enough to savor a specific blot on South Carolina’s so-called justice system that has surfaced in prison phone calls.

This chapter would be titled “How to Get a Wink-Wink Law Degree from the University of South Carolina”. One would assume that most law schools award Juris Doctor degrees. The University of South Carolina also offers Juris Daddy degrees.

Alex Murdaugh lays bare the law school farce in his appeals to his family members from a Richland County jail.

This is where the scion of the Lowcountry’s leading law family, the Murdaughs of Hampton, is locked up on $7million bail and faces more than 80 charges claiming he stole more than $8million of dollars.

This is where Murdaugh continually plans, not only to bend the canteen rules, but also to get his son Buster back to law school.

Buster Murdaugh, who they wanted to be a fifth-generation lawyer, was barred from returning after his freshman year, due to what court records indicated were poor grades and reported plagiarism.

In South Carolina, we don’t seek advantage by changing our habits. It’s done by hiring a “high-powered lawyer,” as noted, “to quietly convince law school officials to give Buster another chance.”

The Murdaugh family paid the powerful attorney $60,000 to send Buster back to our state’s Who’s Your Daddy Law School.

It was $30,000 up front and an additional $30,000 if the failed fellow returned – and it worked.

The Dean of the Faculty of Law joined.

This is terribly wrong, even if the law school subsequently delays readmission.

What about kids who don’t have $60,000 to flash? What about people who have to fend for themselves on their own merits, not a top lawyer? Who gives them a second chance in life?

If the dean wants to give a second chance, these chances must be offered freely to all, on an equal footing.

Paying to play is never ethical.

But it’s apparently openly accepted by South Carolina’s elite, and perfectly legal.

We wonder why the lawyer-run state legislature is routinely arrested for massive bribery. We’re kind of perplexed when laws can surface the way lackeys come back to the University of South Carolina law school — buying it.

The law school warned against re-admitting Buster — things he called “stupid bullshit –” in jail appeals.

But the Murdaughs feel worthy of even more. They’re adamant that Buster’s deal not only gets him back in the door, but he comes back with a brand new fake GPA, without being unduly burdened with those pesky grades he actually got up to. now.

What am I missing? Is this the common way of doing things in this world?

Are we going to let doctors buy second chances and weighted averages?

Are our bridges designed by engineers who really have no place in university?

Does the law school think no one is watching and no one cares? Or is that how it’s always been done?

They should go ahead and tweak the curriculum to suit the Murdaughs while they’re at it, with classes like ‘When Ethics Slips and Falls’, ‘How to Buy Friends and Influence Jurors, Not Necessarily in this order” or “How to Bank on Questionable Legal Practices.

The jail calls show once again that no Murdaugh quibbling happens in a vacuum. Others help and encourage him, and they are not always the so-called scum of society.

When everyone dives into the sump, there is no smell test.

David Lauderdale can be contacted at

This story was originally published July 1, 2022 10:47 a.m.

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Nancy I. Romero