BackArticles and Speeches

Florence Native Will Be Distinguished Guest
at School Foundation Gala

October 7, 2014
William C. Hubbard

Reprinted with permission from the Florence Morning News.

FLORENCE, S.C. — The annual School Foundation Gala will take place Tuesday night at the SiMT Center, and the man of the hour will be William C. Hubbard.

A Florence native, Hubbard has gone on to have a successful law career in Columbia and was recently named President of the American Bar Association (ABA).

Hubbard said his interest in being a lawyer started around the time that he was in middle school or high school.

“I saw that a lot the leaders in the community were often lawyers,” Hubbard said. “They seemed to be the problem solvers and the leaders on a number of issues. At that point, I decided that if you wanted to be involved and help your community, being a lawyer was a good way to go. I was always interested in government, civics and politics.”

Hubbard said he was honored to be selected for the position of President of the ABA.

“I am the first lawyer from South Carolina to be elected to that position,” Hubbard said. “I consider that a big honor. I consider it an obligation and a responsibility, also, to do the best I can to represent the state in a positive manner.”

As a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and a member of the American Bar Association even before his appointment to president, Hubbard said he has a broad perspective on the legal system, especially the areas that are lacking.

Hubbard said he hopes to address those deficiencies during his term.

“One particular issue is what is called the ‘Justice Gap,’” Hubbard said. “Many poor people and more and more people of moderate means don’t have access to our justice system because of cost issues and the complexity of the system. We are working on an initiative called ‘The Future of Legal Services’ to try to develop a blueprint for how we can deliver legal services to more people.”

A topic that has been in the news recently is another Hubbard wants to tackle.

“Another big concern for us is domestic violence,” Hubbard said. “There has been a lot in the news about that lately. The American Bar Association has been deeply concerned about that issue for 20 years. We are working to train lawyers to represent victims of domestic violence better.”

During the gala tonight, Hubbard will have a chance to address the audience. He said that, fittingly enough, his talk will be on the importance of education.

“Unfortunately, in many parts of the country we have failed to provide a civics education,” Hubbard said. “That puts our country, a constitution democracy, at risk if we don’t make sure that students are educated about how our country works and the responsibility of citizenship.”

Though his parents have passed away, Hubbard said he still views Florence as home.

“Florence will always be home to me,” Hubbard said. “I have great memories of growing up there; it is a really great community.”