Posted in: Lawyers Solo and Small Firm Section, Awards


The South Carolina Bar Solo and Small Firm Section has named Michael “Mike” Polk of Columbia as the recipient of its 2020 Solo and Small Firm Section Award in recognition of his service to the community and outstanding leadership.

Polk, an attorney at Belser & Belser, PA in Columbia, focuses on probate administration and litigation, estate planning, and civil litigation.

Active in both the South Carolina Bar and Richland County Bar, Polk is well known within the legal community for being resourceful, thoughtful and intentional in helping his fellow attorneys, particularly in the Solo and Small Firm Section. He’s quick to respond and makes the time to go the extra mile.

“I can’t tell you how many times over the years he’s sent me a note following up on something I mentioned in passing, gone above and beyond to offer input or a helping hand, or shared a heartfelt compliment on work we’ve done,” said Kristen E. Horne, Of Counsel at Unum Group in Columbia. “Mike is very observant, thoughtful and generous with his time and kindnesses.  Those little gestures mean so much and reveal a lot about his warm character.”

Katherine Gettys, president of the Lexington County Bar Association and Polk’s nominator, echoes Horne’s sentiments.

“Mike Polk is a fine lawyer and person who has made extraordinary contributions in service over the past decades to the South Carolina Bar, the Richland County Bar and the Richland County Probate Court,” said Gettys. “He proactively mentors other solo or small firm attorneys and is quite often the first attorney on our listserv to email an educated, helpful response to the group.”

At the Richland County Bar, Polk has served as secretary/treasurer and co-editor of the Richbar News newsletter and is currently a member of the Executive Committee. He’s also served as the Richland County Probate Court liaison and worked for several years on the Probate Code Revision Committee and the Power of Attorney Subcommittee.

“I can say nothing negative about this prince of a guy and a great attorney,” said Derrick Williams, Polk’s successor as RCBA treasurer and attorney at Mickle & Bass in Columbia. “There was never a time when I had a question or an issue that he would not take a moment to respond. I can think of no one more deserving of the award than Mike.”

Polk currently serves as chair of the South Carolina Bar Technology Committee, where he is able to exercise his passion in advocating for lawyers to embrace technology. He is an SC Lawyer author, former member of SC Bar Elder Law Committee, and former co-chair of the Elder Law Month Task Force and CLE subcommittee. In addition, Polk contributed to the SC Bar Senior Citizens’ Handbook. He has presented many seminars and CLEs over the course of his career.

Polk’s service to the community and fellow man started well before his career in law. After college, he joined the Navy before being honorably discharged and ultimately attending law school.

“It was an unexpected honor just to be nominated for this award,” said Polk. “I attended Virginia Tech as an undergraduate. The Virginia Tech motto is ut prosim, which means ‘that I may serve.’ I would like to accept this award on behalf of any solo or small firm attorney who took the time to serve their fellow attorneys, the public and the legal system as a whole, particularly in 2020, when the need was so great.”

The annual South Carolina Bar Solo and Small Firm Section Award honors altruistic actions by a solo practitioner, small law firm or single lawyer in a small law firm as demonstrated by recent service or outstanding leadership to the public or fellow lawyers.