Attorney

Zack Atkinson

Zack was born in the Moncrief Army Hospital on Fort Jackson Army Base in South Carolina. His dad, a Captain in the United States Army, served as a veterinarian on base, and his mother taught elementary school in the same Columbia area schools that Zack grew up attending. During most summers, Zack could be found either working in his father’s animal hospital or outside either playing sports, fishing or hunting.

After graduating from high school, Zack attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Zack  spent four years on the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team, serving as captain his junior and senior years. He also served as president of his fraternity, and his senior class. Zack graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Government from Wofford in 1999.

While at Wofford, Zack set his sights on law school, and after graduation entered the University of South Carolina School of Law. During his three years there, Zack realized both his love and gift for courtroom advocacy while a member of both the Trial Advocacy Team and the Moot Court bar. The experience he gained from these two programs cemented Zack’s desire to spend as much time possible in the courtroom.

Upon graduating from law school, Zack was afforded the honor and privilege of serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas W. Cooper, Jr., a circuit judge from Manning South Carolina. Clerking furnished Zack with the opportunity to walk immediately from the classroom into the courtroom, where he benefited from Judge Cooper’s invaluable wisdom and expertise. The time he spent with Judge Cooper was one of the most rewarding years of Zack’s legal career. In admiration of Judge Cooper, Zack says, “Judge Cooper is one of the wisest men I have ever met. I’ve never heard another lawyer or judge speak an unkind word of him. I would be less of a lawyer were it not for the year I spent with Judge Cooper. He’s brilliant. It was an awesome experience.”  With Judge Cooper’s support and encouragement, Zack chose to join the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office (Richland and Kershaw Counties) to serve as an assistant solicitor under the Honorable Barney Giese.

As an assistant solicitor, Zack gained considerable experience dealing with defendants, defense attorneys, judges, and court personnel, not to mention the numerous cases he tried in front of juries. Zack also worked closely with law enforcement during his time with the solicitor’s office, and his relationship with law enforcement is one he continues to value today.

Initially assigned to the Richland County Solicitor’s Office, it wasn’t long before Zack’s strong work ethic and talent were noticed, and at twenty-six years of age, he was asked to lead the Solicitor’s Kershaw County Office. Zack immediately loved the small-town atmosphere of Camden, so much so that he moved from Columbia to Camden and was soon after elected President of the Kershaw County Bar Association. Expressing his appreciation for Solicitor Giese, Zack says, ”The best part of working for Solicitor Giese was that he let you work! I never had to deal with a bunch of questions or micro-management so long as I was doing my job. Despite my young age, he put complete trust in me, and I am forever indebted to him for giving me the privilege of working under him as an assistant solicitor.”

After three years of prosecuting cases and many back and forth courtroom battles, an appreciation for Zack’s gifted persuasive skills led attorney George Speedy to approach Zack about transitioning into private practice as a litigator. Zack says, “George was always a friend and mentor, even when we were on opposite sides of the fence, so it made perfect sense for us to join forces. I was delighted when he asked me to come work for him. Like my father, Judge Cooper, and Solicitor Giese, George has played an important role in reinforcing the need for a strong work ethic in addition to a ‘golden rule’ approach both to life and the practice of law.”

Professional Highlights

Bar Admissions

South Carolina, 2002

Education

University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina
J.D. – 2002
Honors: Moot Court SC Environment Law Journal

Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina
B.A. – 1999
Honors: Captain, Men’s Soccer 1995-1999
Honors: Senior Class Pres. 1998-1999
Major: Government

Professional Associations and Memberships

South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 2006 – Present
Southern States Police Benevolent Association, Legal Representative, 2010 – Present
Million Dollar Advocates Forum | The Top Trial Lawyers in America – Life Member
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum |The Top Trial Lawyers in America – Life Member

Multi-Million Dollar Advocated Forum Million Dollar Advocated Forum

Past Employment Positions

Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office-Richland/Kershaw, Assistant Solicitor, 2003 – 2006
The Honorable Thomas W. Cooper Jr., Law Clerk, 2002 – 2003

Pro Bono Activities

Kershaw County Youth Court – Judge, 2006 – Present