Attorney Debbie N. Durban, who holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of South Carolina School of Law, always dreamt of her profession since childhood. After getting married and the birth of her children, she decided to pursue a career in law to serve as a role model to her three daughters. Ms. Durban is living proof that it is possible to overcome personal challenges, change your life, and defy expectations – a truth she is honored to represent every day. Proud of serving more than 25 years as an attorney at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, she has extensive experience in labor and employment law. Ms. Durban’s work has involved defending employers, advising companies on matters involving Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations, counseling employers to avoid litigation, and drafting employment policies and handbooks. Alongside this role, she shares her knowledge at speaking engagements.
Active and respected in her professional community, Ms. Durban is a member of the American Bar Association and the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association. She also maintains affiliation with the Defense Research Institute, the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, and the South Carolina Bar. Before joining Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Ms. Durban worked as a ledger clerk in the state senate. She further contributes to her field as a member of the board for the South Carolina Bar’s employment and labor law section.
Ms. Durban diligently prepared for her career at the University of South Carolina, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1972. She is proud to have witnessed the growth of women in the law, as law schools now have women comprising more than half of the student population. After her higher education culminated with earning her law degree in 1999, Ms. Durban was admitted to practice in North Carolina and South Carolina. She has additionally been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. As a result of the ascendance of women practicing law, she notes that firms have been forced to make better accommodations for child care, maternal leave, and other benefits.
Parallel to her active participation in her field, Ms. Durban is an engaged member of her community. For six years, she served as the chair of the Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. From 1994 to 1996, she was a member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, an organization committed to promoting access to high-quality, affordable education in the public education system. Locally, Ms. Durban is the past executive director of a home for women in recovery and was the founding board chairman of the South Carolina Children’s Theatre. She also contributed as a board member of both the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
In recognition of her stellar career and work ethic, Ms. Durban was named to the Best Lawyers in America for six different years, spanning a period of more than a decade. From 2010 to 2012, she was listed in South Carolina Super Lawyers and received a Pro Bono Award from the South Carolina Board. Excited about what’s ahead, Ms. Durban plans to continue building and maintaining relationships with and providing excellent service to her clients. She believes in the power of personal accountability and taking action in the pursuit of personal improvement or achievement. Ms. Durban notes that no one except the individual can make things better through perseverance and hard work. When not working or contributing to her community, Ms. Durban most enjoys time with her grandchildren as well as reading.