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Nov. 21, 2023

Blake Williams Honored with 2022 Claude M. Scarborough Pro Bono Award

COLUMBIA S.C. — Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP recently recognized partner Blake Williams with the Claude M. Scarborough Pro Bono Award for his pro bono commitments assisting a client with a post-conviction relief (PCR) action and expanding homeless courts across South Carolina, dedicating over 320 hours during 2022 to helping others.

Over the past two years, Williams has been an integral member of a small team of Nelson Mullins attorneys handling a state post-conviction relief action that went to an evidentiary hearing in September 2022. Given Williams’s vast appellate experience, he will serve as the lead attorney in the upcoming PCR appeal.

He also actively contributes to the expansion of homeless courts in South Carolina, which are alternative courts aimed at helping individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness overcome obstacles and work towards reintegrating into society. His work begins with organizing a committee with representatives from the judiciary, city attorney’s office, the circuit or municipal prosecutor’s office, and public defender, as well as city officials, private attorneys, law enforcement, local homeless advocates and shelters, and other service providers for homeless communities. Once a committee is in place, his work with the homeless courts requires numerous meetings, trainings, and preparation of written materials about court guidelines and processes. He has successfully overseen the creation of new courts in the South Carolina cities of Florence, Spartanburg, and Rock Hill, and is in the process of helping the City of Greenville establish a court.

The award is named for the late Chair Emeritus Claude Scarborough, who made pro bono an integral part of the firm culture during his years as managing partner.

Committed to serving the most vulnerable in our society through pro bono service, Nelson Mullins brings the collective expertise of its litigators, transactional attorneys, and public policy advocates to defend human and civil rights, close justice gaps, advance equity, safeguard freedom, obtain redress, and restore human dignity. For more information, visit