Craig Conover is still getting used to calling himself a lawyer after being officially sworn in to the South Carolina Bar on Thursday. "It's pretty surreal is the best way I can describe it," Craig told The Daily Dish during an interview over the phone on Thursday. "It's something that I've wanted for a long time now, and there's been a lot of speed bumps."
After experiencing some challenges in finishing up his law school degree and lots of drama with the Southern Charm crew along the way, Craig finally passed the bar exam last April. Now that Craig can officially practice law and help people with their legal problems, he said he feels like his "wings have been unclipped." "I just feel like I've been held back by not having the ability to practice, and now I'm pretty happy," he shared. "Like, it was cool to pass the bar, but I wasn't an attorney yet. And now, we finally got over that last hurdle, and like I said, it's very surreal that I'm actually an attorney now."
Craig had initially been approved earlier this month to be sworn in at the next official ceremony at the Supreme Court of South Carolina in Columbia in May. However, the clerk approved him to attend a special swearing in ceremony on Thursday, so he was glad he didn't have to wait three more months to be sworn in after going through such a long road already. "What was crazy when I got there, and I had no idea, my best friend from law school, we sat next to each other every day first year and then he transferred to Wake [Forest], he was also swearing in today, and we had no idea," Craig said. "So we started together and then finished together. That's who's in the pictures with me, so that's cool."
The Southern Charm gent was also thrilled to have his parents there to witness his big day. "They've been with me the entire time and my biggest supporters and the ones that actually knew it was gonna happen, like me; we just didn't know when. It's just really nice that my mom can go to sleep at night without having to think about this anymore. And it's not in the back of my mind, too," Craig said. "And so having it with me, it's kind of like a mirror image of myself the whole time because all the stress that I had and all of the things that I had to do, I'm sure as a parent, they kind of felt like they were doing them, too. And so it was really cool to have them there and we kind of just got to close it out together because it really has been a long process. And I know that they loved it and they're happy. Having them there for the final stuff was kind of the perfect way to close this chapter."
Craig said some of his fellow Charmers have already sent him their congratulations, including Shep Rose, Austen Kroll, and Cameran Eubanks, with whom he FaceTimed after the swearing in ceremony. "She's very supportive," Craig said. "She's rooting for me, and she's glad I'm happy. She knew how much I wanted it. So she was over the moon."
Craig said he's planning on celebrating with some of the Charmers, as well as other close friends and his parents with a cookout in his backyard. "This will be a really neat way for us to all celebrate and for my parents to see everyone," he said. "For some reason, the bar was more of a party celebration, but this is more, I don't know, you just want to sit back and take it all in, have a few drinks with your closest friends."
Though Craig encountered some challenges on his way to becoming a lawyer, he now considers them a blessing in disguise. "During that time, I was really able to reflect on things that I needed to improve on. And back then, I probably wasn't responsible yet or accountable enough to handle," he said. "I really pushed myself and did everything that I could do so that if this day did come, I'd be ready."
Craig said he now hopes to work at a legal clinic in Charleston as his first post as a lawyer. "I think it'll be perfect for me to get my feet wet again. So basically, I'll probably do 20, 30 hours, hopefully, at the legal clinic. And that's kind of right up my alley, anyway. That's why I always wanted to get into law is to help people," he shared. "That's when I'm happiest, when I'm helping people who need it."
Ultimately, Craig said he would like to help other lawyers or firms take on cases as what he described as something of a "a lawyer for hire." "You can go be Superman for someone that needs it," he said. "It's not a particular section of law other than it's kind of got to be a specialty firm where I can come in and close stuff off for people that can't do it themselves."
The ability to see his law career take shape is what's really exciting for Craig. "It's neat to actually be able to think about that question and answer that question because this has been such a long process, there was nothing good even thinking about what I would do when I swore in because there just were so many times I got my hopes up and then something would happen," Craig said. "And so now, it's really cool that I can even start thinking about and plan out the next step."
We'll catch up more with Craig when Season 5 of Southern Charm premieres Thursday, April 5 at 9/8c. Check out the full trailer above and then come back down here to see what else Craig has been up to these days.