member spotlight

December 2017

Emily S. Boatwright
Boatwright Law Firm
Hilton Head Island, SC

Emily founded the Boatwright Law Firm, LLC in January 2017 and focuses primarily on residential and commercial real estate transactions in the Lowcountry. In addition to her real estate practice, she continues to handle loss mitigation, debt resolution and credit matters for clients as well as probate and estate work. Prior to moving to Hilton Head Island in 2010 to join West Olivetti, LLC and help lead their loss mitigation team, she had launched her own firm in Columbia and wanted to return to her entrepreneurial roots. Emily currently serves SCWLA as the Sea Islands regional representative on the Board of Directors. She is actively involved in outreach and service projects and has enjoyed coupling SCWLA events with giving back to the local community.

November 2017

Hannah Gallagher
Finkel Law Firm
North Charleston, SC

Hannah Gallagher is an attorney for the Finkel Law Firm in North Charleston where her primary focus is on Social Security Disability and helping claimants obtain their benefits. She also works on the real estate team. Hannah attended the Charleston School of Law where she was an Articles Editor on the Federal Courts Law Review, a Fellow at Pro Bono Legal Services, and worked as an extern for the Honorable P. Michael Duffy. Hannah currently serves SCWLA as the Low Country representative on the Board of Directors.

October 2017

Bhumi Patel
McNair Law Firm
Myrtle Beach, SC

Bhumi Patel is a real estate attorney for McNair Law Firm in Myrtle Beach where her primary focus is commercial and residential real estate transactions. She, along with Lynn Stevens, her current mentor, also do substantial work for some local banks and two national residential home builders. In addition to her real estate-related practice and as an accommodation, Bhumi assists her firm’s current clients with estate planning such as drafting wills, power of attorneys, and trust documents. Prior to joining McNair in December 2014, Bhumi worked for William W. DesChamps, Jr. (“Bill”), a solo practitioner in Myrtle Beach, from the time she stepped out of law school. It was with Bill that Bhumi learned that the devil is in the detail and to take worthiness of every client that comes to you if you want to expand your legal experiences. Alongside with Bill, she handled mechanics’ liens matters, represented lenders and defended debtors in foreclosure litigation, and defended construction defect and copyright cases. Bhumi was also involved in handling the rare work of forming special tax districts in Horry County. Bhumi’s past experience on the side of real estate related litigation has helped her in becoming a more effective transactional attorney. Bhumi currently serves SCWLA as the Grand Strand regional representative on the Board of Directors. As her children continue to grow out of toddlerhood and as time permits, Bhumi looks forward to taking on more leadership roles in the local community.

September 2017

The Honorable Flora Lester Vinson
Administrative Law Judge SSA-ODAR Hearing Office
Fayetteville, NC

Judge Vinson is a Federal Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration. She was appointed to that position after having practiced law in Florence for many years, first with Turner Padget Graham and Laney, and then with her husband at the Vinson Law Firm. After her husband’s appointment as Family Court Judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Judge Vinson joined the Folkens Law Firm where she practiced law until becoming a judge.

Judge Vinson has dedicated many years to SCWLA, having served as its president and in other leadership roles. She is a leader in our profession, and in 2008-2009, she was the third woman president of the South Carolina Bar. Judge Vinson frequently volunteers for local, regional and national mock trial competitions for middle and high school teams, and she is also active with many community and professional groups. For her significant contributions to the legal profession and her high standard of professional competence, ethics, and integrity, Judge Vinson was awarded the Compleat Lawyer Gold Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2014.

August 2017

Nancy Olah
Nancy Olah Law
Fort Mill, SC

Nancy Olah is a transactional attorney focusing on commercial real estate, sustainable development, construction law, and business transactions at Nancy Olah Law. She also advises start-up businesses and non-profits. She is a LEED® AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional), credentialed by the Green Building Certification Institute and uses her knowledge about green building practices to help developers find ways to minimize the carbon footprint of their projects. Nancy is active with CREW Charlotte, and is a past president of CREW Charlotte and past chair of the local North Carolina chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Prior to opening her own firm, Nancy worked at Parker Poe for many years. She counseled developers in their creation of mixed-use developments, business and industrial parks, townhomes, condominium projects, resorts, hotels, and golf course communities. Nancy was recognized by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly as a Leader in Law in 2014 and by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly in 2016. In 2014, she was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women by the Mecklenburg Times. She currently serves a one year term on SCWLA’s board, as well as serving as regional representative for the Old English chapter, consisting of York, Lancaster, and Chester counties. In addition to her busy law practice, Nancy has many interests such as scuba diving, swimming, yoga, reading, traveling, dancing, and playing piano. Nancy also loves to cook and has even published her own vegetarian cookbook, Fool a Carnivore. Check out her cookbook and her website of the same name for delicious recipes.

July 2017

Mary Beth Pfister
U.S. Department of Justice
Columbia, SC

Mary Beth is the Assistant Director for Curriculum and Faculty Development at the National Advocacy Center where she is responsible for assessing the needs of the Department of Justice and developing training to meet its requirements. She conducts training for DOJ both in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining the National Advocacy Center, Mary Beth worked as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona where she prosecuted everything from narcotics trafficking to immigration violations as well as working on appeals to the Ninth Circuit. She also worked as both an associate and an equity partner at a large law firm in Phoenix where she specialized in employment law, practicing in both federal and state courts. Mary Beth has faithfully served SCWLA in many roles, currently she serves as Secretary and as Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for six years, Chair of SCWLA’s Membership Committee, and a member of the Professional Development and Mentoring committees. Mary Beth brings an experienced perspective to SCWLA, as she also served in many leadership roles in the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, including as President. Her insight, experience and leadership is invaluable to SCWLA. In 2016, Mary Beth received the Leadership in Law Award from South Carolina Lawyers Weekly. She has been recognized by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and Environment and Natural Resources Division as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her exemplary training programs and legal work.

June 2017

The Honorable Rosalyn W. Frierson
S.C. Judicial Department
Columbia, SC

On February 1, 2017, Judge Rosalyn W. Frierson was elected as an At-Large Family Court Judge for a term beginning on July 3, 2017. Prior to her recent election, Judge Frierson served as the Director of the South Carolina State Court Administration for almost 20 years. In her role as Director she became acutely familiar with the state court system in the Palmetto State and her leadership made an indelible mark. Not only did Judge Frierson serve as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Center for State Courts but she also is a beloved past president of SCWLA (2007). SCWLA is proud of Judge Frierson’s accomplishment and grateful for her continued leadership from the Family Court Bench.

May 2017

Margie A. Pizarro, Esq.
The Pizarro Law Firm, LLC
Summerville, SC

Margie founded her own firm in September 2008 in historic downtown Summerville. She assists individuals with a variety of legal issues including Family Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Estate Law, and Medical Malpractice. Though she has been recognized for her leadership in various past publications, she most recently was acknowledged by the Post and Courier newspaper for her thrifty style. The April 19, 2017, issue featured Margie and her “elegant business” style. Check out the article where she gives thrifty fashion tips and talks about her SCWLA trip to be sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court to which Margie chose to wear a non-traditional beige BCBG pantsuit with wide pants and a blue lapel. “rock on, Margie”

April 2017

Marshall Tinsley Minton
Turner Padget Graham & Laney
Estate and Probate Litigation

Marshall was recently selected as one of The State’s 2017 Top 20 Under 40. She is also a Top Ten Finalist for Columbia Metropolitan Magazine’s Capital Young Professional Award. Marshall also served as a last-minute volunteer to help with registration during the March Midlands SCWLA Meeting. Thanks for all you do, Marshall!