Burnette Shutt & McDaniel receives Martin Luther King Jr. award from law school

COLUMBIA, SC – Burnette Shutt & McDaniel is deeply honored to receive the 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law.

The honor is in recognition of the firm’s deep commitment to social justice, public service, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Those are the very values that have driven this firm since its inception,” firm co-founder Malissa Burnette said. “Whether we’re representing clients in a far-reaching case that moves law forward for many or fighting for an individual, every attorney at this firm keeps that commitment in mind on a daily basis.”

The firm accepted the award at a Thursday reception and celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy. The theme was “The Trumpet of Conscience: The Role of Lawyers in the Fight for Justice.”

Burnette Shutt & McDaniel always is proud to fight that fight for marginalized groups and individuals. Its attorneys were part of the legal team that won the battle for marriage inequality in South Carolina. The firm has long been dedicated to protecting reproductive rights in the state, fighting draconian abortion laws in state and federal courts for years. As part of the legal team challenging inhumane conditions at Richland County’s Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, Burnette Shutt & McDaniel also is deeply committed to criminal justice civil rights.

The firm also represents individual clients in cases where their livelihoods and rights are on the line. This includes employment-law cases, from wrongful termination to equal pay, and civil rights actions, including all types of discrimination. The firm often is honored for its pro bono work for those who can’t afford legal representation.

“Our goal in founding Burnette Shutt & McDaniel was to create something different, to form a firm willing – no, eager – to stand up for what’s right,” firm co-founder Nekki Shutt said. “It’s gratifying to see this recognized through this award from the School of Law.”