Posted in: Lawyers None, Announcements


Columbia attorney Emma T. Dean has been named executive director of the South Carolina Bar.

A member of the South Carolina Bar for 16 years, Dean most recently has served as chief counsel for the South Carolina House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. Previously she was in private practice in the appellate and civil defense areas at Nelson Mullins in Columbia and has served as a law clerk to South Carolina Supreme Court Justice John Kittredge. She begins her new role January 4, 2023.

“A dedicated public servant with a strong track record of solving complex legal issues and building critical relationships across the state, Emma will bring vast experience from both her time in private practice and in the public sector to lead our outstanding organization,” said South Carolina Bar President J. Hagood Tighe. “We are confident that the Bar will flourish under her leadership. The Board of Governors is excited to have her join our team and guide us into the future with a strategic vision for how we can continue to best serve our attorney members and share the great work of the profession with stakeholders and the public.”

As executive director, Dean will oversee the day-to-day operations of the South Carolina Bar and implement policies adopted by the Board of Governors and House of Delegates, which are the Bar’s governing and representative bodies of all licensed S.C. lawyers.  In addition, she will work with the Bar’s strategic partners including the South Carolina Supreme Court, South Carolina General Assembly and South Carolina Bar Foundation, to promote administration of and access to justice across our state.

Dean is a recipient of the Silver Compleat Lawyer Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law, has served on the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession since 2010, is a member of the SC Supreme Court Historical Society Board, and is a member of the USC School of Law Alumni Council.

A Due West native, she received a bachelor of arts in economics and politics from Washington and Lee University. She is a 2006 graduate of the USC School of Law. In the community, Dean has served on the Trinity Learning Center Board and coached basketball and YMCA Youth soccer. She also is a member of the South Carolina Women Lawyer’s Association and the Richland County Bar Association.

“I am honored to serve the South Carolina Bar and excited to work with all Bar members across the state and the excellent Bar staff as we offer valuable programs to attorneys throughout their careers and promote our justice system,” Dean said.