SC Bar Diversity Committee Members: FREE
Big Ticket Holders: $0
All Others: $75

Join fellow colleagues for a discussion on implicit bias and creating a culture of diversity and inclusion in your firm.
The program will feature panelists Marguerite Willis of Nexsen Pruet, John T. Lay of Gallivan White & Boyd, diversity expert Dr. Nika White, Cliff Bourke of Southeastern Freight and USC School of Law Professor Susan Kuo. The late Chief Justice Ernest Finney Jr. will be recognized as a Diversity Spotlight recipient.
This seminar is a basic to intermediate level program. For more information visit the SC Bar Diversity Committee webpage.

11:30 a.m. Registration and Lunch

12 p.m. Implicit Bias, Questions and Answers
Dr. Nika White, Nika White Consulting, Greenville

1 p.m. Panel Discussion: Understanding and Creating an Inclusive Work Environment
Cliff Bourke, VP of Legal Services, Southeastern Freight Lines, Columbia
Professor Susan Kuo, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia
John T. Lay, Jr., Gallivan White & Boyd, PA, Columbia
Marguerite S. Willis, Nexsen Pruet, LLC, Columbia
Moderator: Dr. Nika White

2 p.m. Adjourn Presentation of the Diversity Spotlight Award
Amber Hendrick, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Columbia

Dr. Nika White, Nika White Consulting, Greenville
Dr. Nika White’s professional career spans about 20 years, ranging from serving as a diversity and inclusion practitioner, an accomplished marketing communications executive, economic development leader and community advocate. Dr. White found inspiration through the intersection of business, diversity and leadership, and has made this her niche. She is a national sought after consultant, thought leader, and speaker to countless organizations and executives on issues of team engagement, organizational leadership, strategic diversity, and intentional inclusion. In 2017, Dr.White launched Nika White Consulting to focus on delivering subject matter expertise in the diversity and inclusion space to organizations throughout the country. Dr. White’s consulting firm serves as the Senior Advisor to the Greenville Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and is responsible for creating and collaboratively implementing an overarching diversity strategy for the Greenville Chamber. As an extension of the executive team as a consultant, Dr. White designs and oversees initiatives that develop and promote inclusion of diverse businesses in the economic activities of Upstate South Carolina. Dr. White demonstrates her influence in the marketplace and the community with awards like SC Career Woman of the Year, SC Upstate Business Journal Who’s Who, US Small Business Association’s SC Minority Business Advocate of the Year, Greenville Business Magazine 50 Most Influential, and national recognition by The Network Journal Magazine as Top 40 Under 40 Leaders and Diversity MBA Magazine as Top 100 Under 50 Executives. Dr. White is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute of Organization Management (IOM), a milestone consisting of 96 credit hours of nonprofit instruction focusing on professional growth and development. Dr. White is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) through the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) which has conferred globallyrecognized professional credentials to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practitioners in all sectors. The IDC CDE program is based on industry standards and best practices, as well as designed to encourage excellence and achievement. Dr. White is the author of “The Intentional Inclusionist™” a book for leaders who desire to grow as inclusion-minded individuals and exercise their leadership to enhance the workplace, build communities, and have a positive impact on any circle of influence to which they belong. Dr. White’s book, inspired by philosophies of leadership and inclusion, contains principles to help individuals become more intentional in how diversity and inclusion is understood and practiced at the individual level. The book is designed to help leaders recognize that collective efforts one person at a time can change the way the entire world looks at human difference. Learn more at

Cliff Bourk, VP of Legal Services, Southeastern Freight Lines, Columbia
Clifford Bourke, Jr. is the Vice President of Legal Services for Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for managing all legal matters and transactions for the company and providing legal advice and guidance to Southeastern’s leadership and tot employees at all levels. In his current position, Cliff has provided his legal expertise to issues ranging from antitrust, breach of contract, labor and employment, intellectual property matters, to accident and workers compensation litigated matters.

Professor Susan Kuo, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia
Susan Kuo is a Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and an affiliated researcher with the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. Her research focuses on disaster law and policy and has been published in law reviews including the Boston College Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, and the U.C. Davis Law Review. She teaches or has taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Federal Courts, Conflict of Laws, Civil Procedure, Law and Social Justice, and Race and the Law. In 2014, Professor Kuo received the University of South Carolina Michael J. Mungo Graduate Teaching Award. She also received the 2014 Social Justice Award given by the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. At the law school, Professor Kuo was recognized as Best Classroom Teacher in 2014 and received the 2014 Outstanding Faculty Publication Award. In 2008 and 2010, Professor Kuo was voted Outstanding Faculty Member by the student body. In 2013, she was selected for inclusion in a study of “Best Law Teachers” along with 25 other law professors nationwide. Professor Kuo served as a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Alabama School of Law during Fall 2011 and at the University of Iowa College of Law during Spring 2011. Previously, Professor Kuo was an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University College of Law. She also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law. Before entering academia, Professor Kuo was a Special Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia. She also completed two federal judicial clerkships, one with Judge Eugene E. Siler, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the other with Judge Robert H. Hall of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

John T. Lay, Jr., Gallivan White & Boyd, PA, Columbia
John T. Lay, Jr. has over 20 years of experience managing complex, high-stakes litigation for clients, and has tried more than 100 cases to verdict. He has also handled appeals at the SC Court of Appeals, the South Carolina Supreme Court, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. As a member of GWB’s Business and Commercial Practice Group, he focuses on business litigation, professional malpractice, insurance bad faith and coverage, False Claims Act, financial services litigation, and product liability. John T. has extensive experience managing product liability litigation throughout the country. In July 2016, John T. was named President of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the preeminent invitation only legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests throughout the world. John T. is a member of the Board of Directors of the IADC, the Defense Research Institute (DRI), and Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) and was honored in 2017 as Columbia Lawyer of the Year for 2017 Mass Torts and Class Actions, Best Lawyers. He is also a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). John T. has an interest in cultivating legal talent and has developed a broad background in teaching trial techniques. He has taught trial advocacy at the University of South Carolina School of Law and led the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Trial Academy for three years. In 2009, John T. was a faculty member for International Association of Defense Counsel’s Trial Academy at Stanford University. John Lay is described by market sources as a “very skillful” practitioner. He undertakes a variety of class action litigation as well as mass torts, catastrophic injury and professional negligence matters.” - Chambers US

Marguerite S. Willis, Nexsen Pruet, LLC, Columbia
Marguerite S. Willis is a member of the Columbia office of Nexsen Pruet, LLC. Ms. Willis graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan and cum laude from the Stetson University College of Law. Following two federal clerkships, she joined the firm of Howrey, LLP in Washington, DC, where she became the first woman partner in 1981. Ms. Willis joined Nexsen Pruet in 2000 following her marriage to the then-Mayor of Florence, South Carolina, Frank Willis. Ms. Willis is a member of the bars of the States of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. She has served as Out-of-State Governor of The Florida Bar, President of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and President of the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association. She currently serves as a member of the House of Delegates of the South Carolina Bar and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Ms. Willis is currently President of the Litigation Counsel of America and is a co-founder of the LCA’s Academy of Antitrust Law. She is also a member of both the Trial Law Institute and the Diversity Law Institute. Ms. Willis is passionate about matters affecting women and girls. She regularly speaks on issues relating to pay equity and economic opportunity. Her signature presentation, “What’s in Your Pocketbook?” is a favorite of women’s leadership groups. Ms. Willis recently rotated off as a Trustee of Columbia College, a historically all-female institution, and is a founder of Women in Philanthropy, a charitable all-female “giving circle.”


All registrations must be pre-paid. Cancellation & Refund Policy: Refunds, less $25 administrative fee, will be made for cancellations received in writing to the CLE Registrar at by 5 p.m., one week prior to the seminar. Cancellations will not be accepted within one week of seminar date. Onetime transfers to seminars of like value or to the live web cast of the seminar (if available) will be accepted for a $25 administrative fee in lieu of cancellations within one week of seminar. Requests to transfer to the live web cast must be received by 1p.m. the day prior to the program. Designated substitutes may take the place of registrants unable to attend.
If you have a disability, please call ahead to let us know how we may accommodate your needs.

  • Columbia
    In-Person Seminar
    Bar Conference Center
    1501 Park Street , Columbia, SC 29201