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George Cauthen presents the 2022 George Cauthen Lifetime Achievement Award to Dan Westbrook

June 8, 2022

Dan Westbrook Honored with George Cauthen Lifetime Achievement Award

Columbia partner Dan Westbrook has become the second attorney in Nelson Mullins history to be honored with the 2022 George Cauthen Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was created in 2020, and its first recipient was Cauthen himself.

The George Cauthen Lifetime Achievement Award honors firm members who have devoted their lives and careers to providing pro bono services. It is named after Cauthen for his extraordinary commitment to pro bono through the years and lifetime commitment to the community, and honors those who have accomplished the same. Westbrook received a unanimous vote from members of the Pro Bono Nomination Committee to win the award.

Westbrook has been described by colleagues as someone who is diligent, meticulous, and compassionate, handling some of the most challenging pro bono matters with grace and good humor. He has been a leader of Nelson Mullins’ nationally recognized pro bono program for more than 20 years and has devoted at least 10,000 hours since 2002 to provide access to justice for those who otherwise could not afford it.

Westbrook was co-leader of a team that for 14 years successfully represented men and women in South Carolina’s prisons seeking to improve mental health services and the conditions of their confinement. He also was instrumental in developing a pro bono parole practice and pro bono appellate program. Westbrook has handled several capital state post-conviction relief and federal habeas actions and appeals.

Westbrook’s pro bono work has been recognized outside of the firm, too. In 2016, he was honored with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Award as well as the Arthur Von Briesen Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the same organization that gave the firm a Beacon of Justice award for pro bono work that included Westbrook’s representation of prisoners with mental illness. He has also been recognized with the S.C. Urban League’s Steve Morrison Award and the S.C. Supreme Court Pro Bono Honor Roll. In addition to his pro bono work, Westbrook maintains an active healthcare practice, which has been repeatedly ranked by Chambers USA.

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins is an Am Law 100 firm of more than 930 attorneys and government relations professionals with 31 offices in 15 states and Washington, D.C. For more information on the firm, go to