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South Carolina
Judicial Department
Chief Judge H. Bruce Williams

Judge H. Bruce Williams was born in Columbia, South Carolina. His parents are the late Edna Richardson Harris and the late H. Lanier Williams.

He attended public schools in Columbia and received a bachelor’s degree in English and Government in 1978 from Wofford College. While at Wofford, Judge Williams served as President of the Student Body and the student representative to the Board of Trustees. He was selected to the Blue Key Honor Society and the Senior Order of Gnomes. In 1982, he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

After graduation from law school, Judge Williams was in private practice until 1995. During that time, he served as a part-time Associate Town Judge in Irmo, South Carolina for four years (1991-1995). In addition, he served two terms on the Board of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association for the Family Law Section.

Judge Williams was elected to the Fifth Judicial District Family Court in 1995. During his tenure as a family court judge, Judge Williams served as president of the South Carolina Conference of Family Court Judges as well as secretary-treasurer. In 1997 he established the Richland County Juvenile Drug Court. In 1998 he was awarded the Governor's Program Achievement Award for Juvenile Drug Court. Judge Williams served as the Vice-Chair of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) from 2017 - 2019, and chaired the NADCP from 2019-2021. Judge Williams also served as President of the Columbia Kiwanis Club. While a member of the Kiwanis Club, he volunteered as the advisor for the Columbia High School Key Club (1983 -1995). In November 2011, the Columbia Urban League presented Judge Williams with the distinguished Ethel M. Bolden Community Service Award.

He received the Richland County Bar Association Matthew J. Perry Civility Award in November 2012. Since 2012, Judge Williams has been an adjunct professor at the USC School of Law. In addition, he has served as faculty for numerous judicial and bar sponsored continuing legal education seminars and programs.

Judge Williams was elected to the South Carolina Court of Appeals in May 2004, and as Chief Judge in 2022. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar and is admitted to practice in all South Carolina courts as well as the U.S. District Court for South Carolina. He and his wife reside in Columbia and have two daughters.


Photo of Justice H. Williams
Chief Judge H. Bruce Williams
Court of Appeals
1220 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-1890