Columbia attorney Joel W. Collins Jr. received the Governor’s Order of the Palmetto award April 16 for his service to the state.
The award is considered the state’s highest civilian honor and is given in recognition of South Carolina residents’ lifetime achievements and contributions to the state.
“This ‘once in a lifetime award recognizes outstanding achievements of national or statewide significance,’” Christian Stegmaier, a representative from Collins & Lacy, said in a release. “Always going the extra mile to serve and mentor others, to further the legal profession, and to give back to South Carolina, Joel is the perfect embodiment of this award.”
Collins helped found the Collins & Lacy firm in 1984 and has devoted his practice to professional liability law, white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation. He has consistently been honored by South Carolina Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America while devoting his time to volunteering for numerous professional and civic groups.
He has held leadership positions in organizations like the Rotary, the National Safety Council and the American Board of Trial Advocates Foundation.
Since 2010, he has taught a U.S. Constitution course at the University of South Carolina Honors College as an adjunct professor. He also has helped establish scholarships and pre-law societies at Clemson, Wofford College, Winthrop University and The Citadel.
The award was presented by Gov. Henry McMaster.