Posted in: Lawyers Employment Law Section


Kathy Dudley Helms of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. has been named the Distinguished Lawyer of 2021 by the South Carolina Bar Employment and Labor Law Section. Helms was nominated for this award due to her meritorious service to employment and labor law practices in South Carolina.  

Helms has been practicing law for 36 years and is a licensed attorney in Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas. However, her journey to law school didn’t start right after her undergrad years. Instead, Helms worked as a bank manager, running a small business, for six years.  

This experience has shaped how she practices law nominator Nekki Shutt said.  

“I appreciate that, like me, she did not go straight from undergrad to law school. Rather, she spent six years as a bank branch manager, running a business,” said Shutt in her nomination letter. “That “real world” experience and entrepreneurial spirit shines through in how she practices law. She takes a practical approach.” 

In addition to being involved within the Bar and the community in numerous leadership positions, Helms has also served as managing shareholder of the Ogletree law firm in South Carolina since 2015.  

“As demonstrated by her many awards and activities, Kathy has tirelessly worked to improve the profession, and particularly the labor and employment section,” SC Bar President Elect and Employment & Labor Law Section member Hagood Tighe said. “Kathy sets an outstanding example of what it means to be a leader in our Bar and community.”