Carolyn is an attorney with Bell Legal Group, focusing primarily on mass tort and complex civil litigation.  She received her undergraduate degree from Furman University, and her law degree from the University of South Carolina, where she was a member of Wig and Robe. 

Carolyn began her legal career as the first woman Staff Attorney at the South Carolina Supreme Court, and then served as Law Clerk to Chief Justice of the S. C. Supreme Court George T. Gregory, Jr.  She then became an Assistant Attorney General under Attorneys General Dan McLeod and Travis Medlock.  She argued more than 80 cases solo before the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Carolyn next served as Counsel to the South Carolina House of Representatives, chaired by Representative and later Speaker of the House and Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins. She then entered private practice, becoming a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough before being elected a statewide Administrative Law Judge by the S. C. General Assembly.  Carolyn served for 16 years, trying cases and hearing appeals from state agencies. 

In 2023, Carolyn became a partner of the Bell Legal Group with her Las School classmate, Ed Bell.

Carolyn is married, with a daughter who received her law degree in the first graduating class of the Charleston School of Law and practices in Charleston.  She has two granddaughters and one grandson.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Courts:  South Carolina 1978
  • United States District Courts: District of South Carolina 1979
  • Appellate Courts: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 1981
  • United States Supreme Court, on Motion of Senator J. Strom Thurmond 1986


  • J.D. University of South Carolina School of Law, 1978
  • B.A. Furman University, 1972
  • University of London, Birkbeck College, Fall 1970
  • Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, Fall 1970

Professional Associations & Memberships:

  • S. C.  Bar 
  • S. C. Bar Executive Council, Senior Lawyers Division [2013-present]
  • Richland County Bar Association [1978-present]
  • South Carolina Women Lawyers Association Board [1995-2005]
  • National Association of Administrative Law Judges [1999-2015]


  • President, South Carolina Executive Council, Senior Lawyers Division [2020-2021]
  • President, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association [2012-2013]
  • John Belton O’Neill Inn of Court [2002-present]
  • Woman of Distinction, South Carolina Girl Scouts [2012]
  • Fellow, Riley Diversity Leaders Institute of Furman University [2011]Graduate, Leadership South Carolina [1994]

Selected Writings & Presentations

  • “Tips from the Bench” – Panel with Justice Hearn, Judge McDonald, and Judge Mullen – 2014
  • “Administrative Practice” – Presentation to Department of Employment and Workforce Insurers  2014
  • League of Women Voters:  Panel “Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary”  2010
  • Bridge the Gap: “Administrative Law”  [2 presentations per year to new Law school graduates, at request of Chief Justice 2002-2011]
  • “The Ten Commandments of Administrative Law Practice: – Tips From the BenchSeminar each December 2002-2007

Continue Reading

  • Ethics for State Government Attorneys – “Professionalism in Administrative Law Practice” – S. C. Association of Counties Conferences 2003 and 2004
  • Department of Revenue Ethics Seminars – 2003-2004
  • “The Lighter Side of the Law” – S. C. Women Lawyers Association Conference – 2003
  • “Ethics and Professionalism” – South Carolina Auditors and Assessors – 2002
  • Panel University of South Carolina Law Students – “How Judges Perceive Lawyers”-2003
  • “Judicial Independence” – Panel Discussion – S. C. Women Lawyers Conference 2002
  • “Legislative update” – Presentation to Natural Resources Section – S. C. Bar Convention 1994
  • “South Carolina Government Restructured – the Private Sector Impact” – 1993
  • “Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel” – Presentation to all Attorneys General of South Carolina – 1986
  • “Appellate Practice” –   South Carolina Circuit Judges Conference – 1982 

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