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Sheila M. Willis

Associate, Columbia
Columbia
t: 803.740.7676
f: 803.255.0202

Overview

Sheila Willis practices management-side employment law.  She is committed to finding practical, real world solutions to her clients’ employment law needs. She frequently advises clients regarding hiring, discipline, investigations, and other related issues. Sheila has extensive experience working on collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and class actions under wage and hour state laws. Sheila also handles matters related to employment discrimination, wage and hour litigation, OFCCP compliance, unemployment proceedings, as well as providing training for supervisors and managers on harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) compliance, the Family Medical Leave Act and many other areas.

Sheila is involved in various professional and community activities. She is a past President and is on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Women Lawyers’ Association (SCWLA). Sheila also is very active in the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers’ Division, serving as its President- Elect. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Columbia – Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  Sheila is active in the Richland County Bar, American Bar Association, and is a member of the Junior League of Columbia.

Prior to attending law school, Sheila was a member of store leadership for a Fortune 500 retail company, providing employee supervision and managing a variety of employee issues related to wage and hour, workers’ compensation, discrimination issues, performance management, and other personnel issues.

Sheila is a 2019 recipient of the Silver Compleat lawyer Award from the University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association. This award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to the legal profession and who exemplify the highest standard of professional competence, ethics, and integrity.

She has also been named to the Columbia Regional Business Report’slist of 2018 Women of Influence, Columbia Business Monthly’s 2018 Best and Brightest 35 and Under,  Columbia Business Monthly’s Legal Elite of the Midlands in 2017and the  American Bar Association’s  On the Rise – Top 40 under 40 in 2018.  She is also a 2018 South Carolina Super Lawyers – Rising Star and a 2019 recipient of the Leadership in the Law award.   She was awarded the Johnathon Jasper Wright Award by The Honorable Matthew J. Perry Chapter of the Black Law Students Association at the University of South Carolina School of Law, is a three-time recipient of the President’s Award a and a four-time recipient of the Start of the Quarter award from the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers’ Division.

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • 2018 Best and Brightest 35 and Under
  • Named to the list of 2018 Women of Influence by the Columbia Regional Business Report
  • On the Rise - Top 40 Young Lawyers Award from the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
  • 2018 South Carolina Super Lawyers List - “Rising Sta r”
  • Named to Columbia Business Monthly's Legal Elite of the Midlands in 2017
  • 2019 Silver Compleat Lawyer
  • 2019 Leadership in the Law
  • Named to Columbia Business Monthly's Legal Elite of the Midlands in 2017
  • Awarded the President’s Award for her work on the Cinderella Project within the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers’ Division.
  • Leadership Columbia Class of 2017, Columbia Chamber
  • Awarded the Johnathon Jasper Wright Award by The Honorable Matthew J. Perry Chapter of the Black Law Students Association at the University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Awarded the Star of the Quarter for the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers’ Division

Professional Activities

  • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division, President-Elect
  • South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, President
  • American Bar Association (ABA) – Member
  • Columbia – Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Member, Board of Directors
  • Richland County Bar – Member
  • South Carolina Bar – Publications Committee Member
  • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division – Cinderella Project, State Chair
  • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division – iCivics Committee Member
  • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division – Voices Against Violence Committee Member
  • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division – Habitat for Humanity Wills Clinic Committee Member
  • South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division – High School Mock Trial Volunteer Judge
  • South Carolina Women Lawyers’ Association – Secretary; Member, Board of Directors
  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association – Member, Board of Directors;
  • Insurance/Torts Substantive Law Committee, Former Chair

Community Activities

Sheila is active in the community through her membership with the Junior League of Columbia. She is also a member of 2016 Class of the South Carolina Bar’s Leadership Academy.

Insights

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • "Ask a Lawyer Panel"
    "What’s Going On? – Growing Trends in Employment"
    2018 CSHRM Legal Workshop - Moderator/Panelist 
    April 2018
  • Getting Gig-gy With It:  Issues in the SHARE Economy”
    2017 SC Bar Labor and Employment Mid-Year Meeting
    May 2017
  • “Tips for Success in the Legal Profession”
    First Career Week Lunch at USC Law 
    January 2017
  • “The Best Laid Plans"
    Columbia SHRM
  • “What Do Lawyers Do?”
    Eastminster Presbyterian Church – CHAMPS Program
    January 2017
  • “Hold my Handbook, Updates to Employee Handbooks” 
  • Pee Dee Society of Human Resource Chapter
    August 2016
  • “It’s Fun to Stay at the EEOC, Update on the EEOC”
    Pee Dee Society of Human Resource Chapter
    August 2016
  • “Hot Topics in Employment Law for 2016"
    South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association
    July 2016
  • “The Fair Labor Standards Act, Exemption Changes and Challenges"
    Columbia Society of Human Resources
    July 2016
  • “E-Discovery and B.Y.O.D.”
    Fisher Phillips One Day, Many Solutions Seminar
    May 2016
  • “Handbooks and Policies, You Won’t Believe What You Can’t Say in Your Policy"
    Columbia Society of Human Resources Chapter
    May 2016
  • “The FLSA and You”
    Public Employment Seminar
    December 2015
  • “The Gender Discrimination Remix, Current Title VII Issues in Employment Law”
    South Carolina Bar Convention
    January 2015
  • “Appeals in Employment Law"
    Public Employment Seminar
    November 2014

Articles

  • “Uber’s Court Victory Serves as a Reminder of the Importance of Proper Classification”
    Midlands Biz
  • “Employment Verification Never Looked So Good”
    Columbia Business Monthly
  • “The Importance of Being a Mentor”
    Richland County Bar Newsletter
  • “Considerations in Drafting Settlement Agreements and Releases in Employment Cases”
    American Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division 101/201 Practice Series – Labor and Employment Section
  • “Exempt the Un-Exempted – The DOL’s New Overtime Rule”
    South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Magazine

Education

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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