Jennifer Ashburn ’04 was named Young Lawyer of the Year by the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division. This Award is given annually to recognize a young lawyer who most exemplifies excellence in practicing law and public service. The award was presented on Thursday, May 3, during the Bar’s House of Delegates meeting at the South Carolina Bar Conference Center in Columbia.
Ashburn was recognized for her impressive commitment to public service. She serves on the board of directors of the Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity, and through the Young Lawyers Division, she launched the Habitat for Humanity Wills Clinic Committee. This committee coordinates clinics throughout the state to provide free services to Habitat owners including wills, health care powers of attorney, and living wills free of charge. Ashburn’s clinic has served approximately 130 homeowners since its inception.
Ashburn is also actively involved with the United Way, participating on the Women in Philanthropy Committee and the Young Leaders Society. Her leadership in these two areas has resulted in significant membership growth and enabled the United Way to attract new donors. She also chairs the organization’s new Advocacy Committee, guiding efforts to engage in public policy issues affecting the organization and service recipients.
Ashburn has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from New York University in Industrial Organizational Psychology. After graduating from the Law School, she clerked for the Hon. Margaret B. Seymour of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. She remained in South Carolina, practicing general litigation and corporate law at several firms before starting her own law practice in September where she handles civil defense litigation and real estate cases.
“The Young Lawyers Division is fortunate to have an extraordinary group of leaders who demonstrate professionalism and community service in their practices and in a broad range of programs across the state,” said Will Johnson, secretary/treasurer of the Young Lawyers Division. “Jennifer exemplifies those characteristics. As the founding member and chair of the Habitat for Humanity Wills Clinic Committee, she has helped countless people in difficult situations, encouraged other young lawyers to follow her lead in serving the public, and fostered goodwill for the state’s legal community.”
“I owe my success to all of the different people who have helped me along the way, from Professor Marilyn Walter who inspired me to stay in Law School when I had my doubts, to Judge Seymour, and the members of the South Carolina Bar who help me every day,” she said. “It’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work, because it has been challenging to juggle it all. I am very honored.”