Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Main office 1320 Main Street, 17th Floor | Columbia | SC | 29201
Phone 803-799-2000 
Fax 803-256-7500 
Year of establishment 1897
Number of offices 13
Largest office Columbia
Number of attorneys 430
Number of associates 98
Number of partners 238
Partner: associate ratio 2.40
Percent women attorneys 21.20
Percent minority attorneys 3.20


Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP provides advice and counsel in litigation, corporate, securities, finance, intellectual property, employment, government relations, regulatory, and other needs of clients ranging from private individuals to large businesses, including many publicly held companies. With more than 40 diversified practice areas, Nelson Mullins provides creative solutions to legal and business problems while offering value-added service to clients. Many Nelson Mullins clients—including growth companies, expanding local businesses, and major international companies—retain the Firm to provide all of their legal services. Other clients are national companies requiring assistance with specific regional or local legal matters. The Firm also has experience representing international companies interested in locating facilities in the Southeast. Start-up assistance for entrepreneurial endeavors, multi-action litigation defense, and representation of underwriters and investment bankers are only a few of the services that are provided by Nelson Mullins attorneys. The Firm is large enough to ensure promptness of service, yet personal enough to maintain our established reputation for individual client attention. Nelson Mullins has adopted a program of closely managing its own performance, particularly with respect to quality of service and practice development. The Firm closely communicates regarding clients' requirements and the potential fees and expenses that may result from the Firm's work. Attorneys communicate with clients about available cost-saving measures. With more than 500 attorneys and government relations professionals practicing from offices in Atlanta, Boston, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and throughout the Carolinas, Nelson Mullins has strong roots in the business community and an appreciation for new directions in the business world. At heart, Nelson Mullins is an entrepreneurial firm dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services to our most important partners, our clients. To that end, Nelson Mullins encourages its lawyers to approach each client individually, working to understand the needs, goals, and long-term plans of each client. By identifying these strategic issues, our attorneys can develop an individualized approach targeting each facet of the client, creating specific solutions to help address each need, to reach each goal, and to realize each long-term plan.

Areas of practice

  • Corporate
  • Construction
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Family
  • Financial Services
  • Governmental
  • Transportation

  • Litigation
  • Healthcare
  • International
  • Internet
  • Information Management
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate
  • Taxation

Notable cases

  • Nelson Mullins attorney George B. Cauthen represented a power company in a case in which the court held that the debtor could not avoid the post-petition contract with Power Company, and that the power company was allowed a multimillion dollar administrative claim.
  • Nelson Mullins partner Barry D. Alexander represented hospitals, healthcare systems and durable medical equipment suppliers in Medicare billing and other regulatory disputes with the U.S. Department of Justice; resolving potential civil exclusionary actions, and negotiating and implementing corporate integrity agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
  • Nelson Mullins partner Juliane Balliro working with a team of lawyers, recently obtained a $102 million verdict against the federal government in a claim of malicious prosecution arising under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
  • Nelson Mullins Keri Chayavadhanangkur represented Manufacturer of satellite communication networks in its $315 million 144A equity offering and a global chemicals manufacturer in its $130 million acquisition of a division of a U.S. based global chemicals manufacturer.
  • Nelson Mullins partner Joseph Dowdy tried a $14 million arbitration involving claims against a financial institution for alleged violations of the bank holding company act, the UCC, and state banking laws.
  • Nelson Mulley partner Richard B. Herzog represented a Fortune 50 company in the defense of a $450 million breach of contract suit brought by the litigation claims representative of a bankrupt diaper manufacturer.
  • Nelson Mulley partner defended an international retail company in a multi-million dollar lawsuit from claims of negligent hiring and retention based on the criminal misconduct of one of the company's employees obtaining summary-judgment dismissal of the lawsuit and defeated plaintiff's summary-judgment motion on liability.
  • Nelson Mulley partner George Kostel obtained dismissal prior to discovery of claims brought by 127 plaintiffs against two banks accused of conspiring with developers and appraisers to sell property in waterfront subdivisions to plaintiffs at inflated prices. Plaintiffs claimed tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Awards and recognitions

Nelson Mullins is a leader in its chosen practices, industries and locations and is frequently ranked in regional and national trade publications.

Chambers USA 2012 ranked Nelson Mullins among America's Leading Lawyers for Business.
US News ranked Nelson Mullins as Best Law Firm 2013.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) on Thursday presented John McElwaine, a partner in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP's Charleston office, with the Volunteer Service Award.
U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers

Hiring criteria

In its hiring the firm looks for students with high academic achievement and consideration is given to undergraduate and law school academic performance. Students who show leadership capacities and show evidence of having participated in extracurricular activities are preferred. Law Review, Moot Court are an additional advantage. IP candidates must be Patent Bar eligible.

Every year the firm interviews potential candidates at Southeastern law schools and job fairs. Candidates interested in pursuing a legal career at Nelson Mullins may contact the Firm directly or register for an on campus interview. However, if the candidate's law school is not on the firm's campus schedule, the firm also considers applications from law students across the country. Recruitment of summer associates is supervised by the firm's Recruiting Committee but depends considerably upon the participation of all lawyers in the firm.

Nelson Mullins is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity. The firm will not discriminate in any aspect of its employment practices against any qualified applicant or employee on account of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or marital status.


The firm is committed to achieving and maintaining diversity in all aspects of its life. At the firm diversity is not a choice, it is a core value, a place where they celebrate their differences. The firm's workforce is populated by people from a wide range of racial, gender, age, ethnic, national origin, sexual orientation, and religious persuasions.

The firm actively recruits diverse talent through on-campus visits to law schools, attendance at regional and national job fairs, mentoring programs, and internal and external networking.

The firm believes that the greater their diversity, the more creative and effective it becomes. Its diversity brings to its workplace more varied perceptions, understandings, background, flair, and interests. The firm's clients come from different communities, cities and states and only a diverse workplace can best serve their interests.

The firm has the recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys as its top priority and through its various committees ensures that all have equal access to the best opportunities for their individual professional development and growth. The firm offers flexible and reduced-time work schedules that permit both male and female attorneys to work alternative schedules.

Nelson Mullins' achievements in the diversity area have been recognized and they have won numerous awards and accolades for their commitment to diversity. The firm is proud of its efforts and achievements to date, and comprehends that sustained diversity requires a continued commitment to the creation and maintenance of a climate of true inclusiveness and that it will continue promote and support diversity in all that they do.

Summer associate program

Nelson Mullins' Summer Associate Program is of great importance to the firm as it is from among the students that the firm looks to fill its positions for entry-level associates. The firm considers it be a vital part of its recruiting process. The program provides an ideal training ground for a fruitful and meaningful career at the firm. Nelson Mullins is dedicated to providing summer associates with an opportunity to achieve a realistic view of the firm's practice and its open and dynamic culture.

Summer associates are made to attend client matters, virtually from day one of the program. However, a major part of the first day is spent learning about the firm's history, its culture, its work ethos and its people. The program is designed to show the students what they require to succeed at the firm. Students are provided challenging and exciting work assignments and opportunities for summer associates to interact with all attorneys at the firm.

Summer associates experience the day-to-day practice of law through opportunities to attend depositions, negotiation and drafting sessions, client conferences, closings, administrative hearings, and trials. Assignments will depend on the practice area and the needs of the clients and could include drafting briefs and pleadings; working on financial and corporate transactions; and participating in the preparation of securities offerings.

More than just telling them what to do, associates are made to practice in actual work situations. In this way, each summer associate has an opportunity to evaluate the firm and its practice by becoming involved in major projects and by observing the work of the firm's lawyers.

The firm's Summer Program is designed to give summer associates an all-inclusive view of the firm's practice, at the same time giving the firm an opportunity to evaluate the skills of the summer associates and assess his potential as a probable enduring employee at the firm.

Salary & benefits

  • Y1 $0-$130,000.00


  • 401(k)/IRA/Other Retirement Plan
  • Bar Association Fees
  • Business Casual Dress Code
  • CLE
  • Dental Insurance
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Family/Dependent Care Leave
  • Flexible Spending Account/Pre-Tax Option
  • Life/AD&D Insurance
  • Long-term Disability Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Parental Leave
  • Parking/Transportation
  • Relocation Expenses
  • Sick Leave
  • Technology (Laptop, PDA, etc.)
  • Vacation Leave
  • Vision Insurance

Benefits Package:

Health; Dental; Prescription Drug; Flex Spending Accounts; 401K; LTD & STD; Life Insurance; AD&D; Supplemental Life, LTD, Cancer, Intensive Care, Long Term Care and Vision Care Plans; Paid Holidays; Flexible Vacation; CLE/Bar Dues/Professional Organizations; many types of leave.

Working for the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

    Employees at the firm say that the firm is a great place to work and the atmosphere is collegial and everyone feeds of each other strengths and work together in a mutually respectful and supportive atmosphere. In learning from each other, the firm recognizes that no single approach can provide every answer. It embraces a diversity of perspectives, expertise, experience, and cultures. All want to see team members succeed and the workplace is devoid of competition amongst the employees, who all work together as one employer said, it feels like family.

    At Nelson Mullins, people are respected and considered to be the firm's greatest assets. Every employee's ideas are valued and personal and professional development is nurtured. The firm strives for an environment in which every employee's voice can be heard, and the firm listens to those voices.

    Most summer associates stay on as permanent employees as the firm makes an attempt to integrate and train them from the moment they join them. The firm strongly encourages attorneys of all levels and specialties to pursue their interests and strengths within the legal field. The firm says that it is committed to build interesting, successful careers in a supportive environment. Moreover the firm pays well and has generous benefits.

Pro bono

    The Firm dedicates thousands of hours to pro bono services. It is a firm tradition, a legacy that has been religiously followed by the firm's lawyers and others, throughout its more than century of existence. Over the last two decades it has donated 405,605 hours of pro bono service and regularly leads in the American Lawyer pro bono rankings.

    The firm's pro bono program is unique in the sense that it was designed with considerable thought, after evaluating existing pro bono programs across the country. It contains the following key elements that the program set a goal of a minimum number of annual pro bono hours per attorney, that considering the considerable resources of the firm, it should undertake large, "impact" pro bono projects and to give full billable and collections credit for pro bono matters meeting Nelson Mullins' definition of "pro bono" and approved by the Pro Bono Committee.

    The program has stood the test of time and even after two decades it remains the prime motivators of the firm's pro bono program. The program is recognized as one of the top pro bono programs in the country.

    The Firm is committed to handling complex pro bono litigation, corporate matters and legislative advocacy, as well as individual pro bono representation. The firm has sponsored externships and fellowships with several agencies, including the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center and the South Carolina Center for Capital Litigation. In 1997, to mark its own 100th year of service, Nelson Mullins established five centennial fellowships to fund the work of attorneys focusing exclusively on children's issues.

In the news



Some of the Jobs with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP currently available on LawCrossing:

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Corporate Attorney in Boston, MA USA-MA-Boston Seeking a Mid-level Corporate Associate to join Corporate team. Must possess a background in corporate transactions, including equity and debt financings and mergers and acquisitions. Excellent academic credentials and strong writing, analytical and communications skills are required. Should have 3 ...
Intellectual Property Attorney / Litigation Attorney in Boston, MA USA-MA-Boston Technical Specialist or Associate The candidate will join the intellectual property group. Will work directly with attorneys and patent agents on IP matters for leading pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology start-ups. Primary responsibilities include patent prosecution and opinion work.
Legal Staff in Atlanta, GA USA-GA-Atlanta Commercial Real Estate Paralegal The candidate should have 5+ years of experience in a law firm in setting handling all aspects of commercial real estate sales, acquisitions, and loans, including: drafting closing documents and settlement statements on behalf of lenders, sellers, and purchasers; re...
Legal Staff in Charlotte, NC USA-NC-Charlotte Patent Agent The candidate will join Intellectual Property team. A background in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science is preferred, and should have excellent academic credentials and strong writing, analytical and communications skills. 2 years of patent prosecution ex...
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