News + Press

SC Bar Young Lawyers Division garners top honors at ABA Annual Meeting

August 27, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Aug. 27, 2014) - The SC Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) won three prestigious Awards of Achievement at the American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting on Aug. 9 in Boston, Mass. The awards included first place in three categories: Comprehensive (overall programs), Newsletters (S.C. Young Lawyer), and Minority Service Project (The Color of Justice). Beth Palmer, SC Bar YLD member, was also named an ABA YLD Star of the Year.

"It is an honor to win the Comprehensive Award of Achievement alongside first place awards in two other categories this year. We are also very proud to have Beth Palmer, an ABA YLD Star of the Year, on our team,” said Lynsey Kmetz, current President of the SC Bar Young Lawyers Division. “Over the past year, our YLD members have gone above and beyond by working on initiatives to aid South Carolinians in need and furthering their legal impact around the state. These awards are definitely a tribute to the outstanding leadership of immediate past president, Will Johnson, and we are looking forward to continuing YLD’s legacy in South Carolina and the ABA in the coming years."

The SC Bar YLD won the first place Comprehensive Award of Achievement in recognition of its broad range of outstanding programming in 2013. Programming considered included the following committees and projects: the Cinderella Project, Courthouse Keys, iCivics, Color of Justice, Families Forever, Law School Outreach, “Lean In” Coaching Group, and the Professional Development Project. Will Johnson of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA was president of the SC Bar YLD for 2013-14, and oversaw YLD programming with assistance from Lynsey Kmetz, President-Elect, of Foster Law Firm and Britt Kelly, Secretary/Treasurer, of Rosen, Rosen and Hagood, LLC.

Winning first place in newsletters, S.C. Young Lawyer is a quarterly publication that includes substantive articles and information on the SC Bar YLD’s ongoing events. S.C. Young Lawyer is co-chaired by Marshall Newton of Robinson McFadden & Moore, PC; Thomas Limehouse of the U.S. District Court, District of SC; and Brandon Smith of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP.

The Color of Justice program won first place in the Minority Service Project and is co-chaired by Chisa Putman of S.C. Legal Services, Ashleigh Wilson of the S.C. Attorney General's Office and Evan Guthrie of Evan Guthrie Law Firm. The Color of Justice introduces the field of law to middle and high school minority students during a one-day symposium that includes a panel discussion and breakout sessions with judges, attorneys, law professors and law students. In 2013-14 the project was expanded to include an “HBCU roadshow” in which South Carolina young lawyers visited historically black colleges and universities to talk with students there about opportunities in the field of law.

Beth Palmer of Rosen, Rosen and Hagood, LLC received an ABA YLD Star of the Year award for her efforts with the public service project, “Bullyproof: Young Lawyers Educating and Empowering to End Bullying.” This program is a comprehensive initiative that provides education and resources to help empower parents, educators, students and young lawyers make bullying a thing of the past. During the annual meeting in Boston, five South Carolina young lawyers led another Bullyproof session for approximately 40 high school students in Boston.

For more information about YLD programs, visit

The SC Bar YLD includes all members of the SC Bar under the age of 36 and those with less than five years of membership.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 15,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.


Photo caption: Will Johnson, Lynsey Kmetz, Ryan Neville and Patrick Wooten with ABA Awards of Achievement

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