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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Sociology


Featured Alum

Kelley Pringle, '14

Kelley Pringle graduated from USC with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology in 2014.

While obtaining her undergraduate degree, Kelley volunteered in Costa Rica building an elementary school and graduated with leadership distinction in community service for her service. She was a member of the Carolina 12 organization, volunteered at the Department of Juvenile Justice as a mentor, and volunteered at Pets, Inc., a local animal shelter. During her junior year in the sociology department, Kelley was struggling to decide what her path would be after she obtained her bachelor's degree. After reaching out to her professors, she was told that she should think about pursuing a law degree due to her interest in public policy. According to Pringle, "My professors and colleagues became a family that helped me to find something that I had a passion for and succeed at it."

A year later, she was accepted into USC School of Law. While attending Law School, Kelley served as the research editor of the real property trusts and estates law journal, a member of the women in law association, and a member of the South Carolina animal legal defense group. During her time as a law student, Kelley worked at Finkel Law Firm as a law clerk, was a research assistant for her civil procedure professor, Howard Stravitz, and was a research assistant for the Honorable Justice John C. Few on the South Carolina Supreme Court. During her second and third year of law school, Kelley also tutored first year students at the Law School in Civil Procedure and volunteered as a Richland County Guardian Ad Litem for children involved in the foster care system in South Carolina.

Pringle went on to earn a Juris Doctor from USC School of Law in May 2017, and started her career at the Finkel Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina.

Outside of her work, Kelley continues to be an advocate for children and animals. She regularly volunteers with Pawmetto Lifeline and SQ Rescue to find homes for homeless pets in the midlands. She still volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system, and mentors high school kids through Achieve Columbia.

Kelley credits sociology education for her ability to evaluate and question statistical data and develop her own theories on issues that she deals with everyday in the law. She also uses her sociology education to identify and analyze public policy shifts that trigger changes in the law.