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Long History. Lasting Legacy. Limitless Future.

  1. The firm is founded by Patrick Henry Nelson, II of Camden and Columbia, S.C.
    Patrick Henry Nelson is succeeded at the firm by his son William Shannon Nelson and his grandson Patrick Henry Nelson, III.
  2. Edward Mullins, Sr. joins and the firm becomes Nelson, Gettys, and Mullins.
  3. The firm becomes Nelson Mullins and Grier.
  4. With the addition of Ed Mullins, Jr. and Claude Scarborough as partners, the firm becomes Nelson Mullins Grier and Scarborough.
  5. Claude Scarborough becomes managing partner, a position he will hold for 31 years.
  6. The firm begins planning for growth with the goal of adding attorneys and diversifying its practices. The firm jumps to 18 attorneys in 1978.
  7. Ed Mullins, Jr. is elected president of the Defense Research Institute. Firm attorneys who will later fill this prestigious national role are Steve Morrison, David Dukes, Marc Williams, and John Kuppens.
  8. After two terms as South Carolina governor, Richard W. Riley and his father and brother join the firm, which becomes Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.
  9. The Pro Bono Committee is established. Closing out its first year of existence in 1990, the committee proudly reports that the pro bono program has been "smoothly integrated into not only the administration, but the ethic of the firm."
  10. The firm expands out of South Carolina with the opening of an office in Atlanta.
  11. Am Law begins publishing the "Am Law Second Hundred" and ranks the firm as the 178th largest law firm based on 1998 gross revenues.
  12. David Dukes becomes managing partner. The firm has now grown to 250 attorneys in six offices located in Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Atlanta, and Charlotte.
  13. The firm expands in 2003 and 2004 with office openings in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Washington D.C.
  14. Recognizing the importance of equality in the workplace, Nelson Mullins founds a standing committee on diversity. It will later be known as the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.
  15. The firm opens an office in Boston, which expands in 2010 with the addition of intellectual property attorneys and technical specialists from Lahive & Cockfield.
  16. By now, the firm has grown to 400 attorneys in 10 offices. EducationCounsel, a mission-based education consulting firm designed to drive significant improvements in the U.S. education system, becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.
  17. The firm launches Encompass, an e-discovery business unit that is now one of the largest practices of its kind in the nation.
  18. Jim Lehman, after serving as operations partner, is elected managing partner of the firm.
  19. In 2016 and 2017, the firm opens offices in Denver and Los Angeles as an expansion of its national automotive defense practice. Now with 575+ lawyers, the firm enters the Am Law 100 for the first time, debuting at No. 88.
  20. A year for significant expansion, the firm opens in Baltimore to cement its presence in the Mid-Atlantic and combines with Broad and Cassel to grow its Florida presence, adding more than 160 attorneys.
  21. The firm names its first Diversity Partners. In 2021, the first Chief Diversity Office and the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion are announced.
  22. The firm celebrates 125 years of service to clients, communities, and the profession.