Posted in: Lawyers None, Women's History Month


Before her retirement in 2018, Lee Coggiola was Disciplinary Counsel for the South Carolina Supreme Court, and prior to that Chief Staff Attorney for the South Carolina Court of Appeals. Before coming to the Court of Appeals she served as the Chief Public Defender of Richland County. Her Bar memberships include the South Carolina Supreme Court; United States District Court, District of South Carolina; Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. She is a 1967 graduate of the University of Miami and received her JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1988. Prior to attending law school she spent eleven years with IBM in systems and marketing. After admission to the Bar she served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Carol Connor, Assistant Public Defender, Assistant Appellate Defender, and Of Counsel at Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough.

As chair of the Criminal Law Section, she served on the House of Delegates for the South Carolina Bar. Additionally, she served on the Board of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, was former President of the South Carolina Public Defender Association, former member of the American Council of Chief Defenders, and a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Profession. She is a member of the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court and serves as a mentor for incoming law students at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

She received the Gold Compleat Lawyer award from the University of South Carolina School Of Law in 2008, the Rhodes McDonald Award from the John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court in 2014 and is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Galloway Bissell Award from the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association. She is co-editor of the Fifth and Sixth Edition of The Criminal Law of South Carolina and is currently an adjunct instructor at USC School of Law.

She is a founder and permanent Board member of The Women's Shelter in Columbia. For a number of years she served on the Board of the Midlands Mediation Center (formerly the Community Mediation Center). She is currently on the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Academy of Authors and serves on the Board of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN). Jennifer Morgan, her daughter, lives in Atlanta with her husband Brand Morgan and four children, Brand, Jack, English and Harry. Her son, Gabe Coggiola, lives in Columbia with his wife Lauren Coggiola and their two daughters Louise and Maggie. Originally from Massachusetts and New York, she has made South Carolina home for 44 years.