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Senior Attorney

Super Lawyer

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Donald Gist is an attorney who represents clients in the Columbia, South Carolina area. Donald Gist is recognized by peers and was selected to Super Lawyers for 2022. This selection is based off of an evaluation of 12 indicators including peer recognition and professional achievement in legal practice.


Donald Gist chose to pursue a career in law after completing undergraduate studies. He attended University of South Carolina School of Law and graduated in 1978. Donald Gist passed the bar exam and was admitted to legal practice in 1996.


He represents clients with Employment & Labor issues in South Carolina.

Being selected to Super Lawyers is limited to a small number of attorneys in each state. As one of the few attorneys to garner the distinction of Super Lawyers, Donald Gist has earned the respect of peers as one of the top-rated attorneys in the nation.

Attorney Donald Gist is the Senior Partner in the Gist Law Firm. He is a 1978 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also holds a Master’s Degree in History from the University of South Carolina. Attorney Gist received his Bachelor’s Degree in 1972 from Benedict College, in Columbia, South Carolina.


Attorney Gist primarily practices in the area of Employment Law. He appears before Federal and State Courts representing Plaintiff’s against their employers. Attorney Gist also handles cases before the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the South Carolina Employment Security Commission, the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, South Carolina State Grievance Committee, South Carolina Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, United States Labor Department, South Carolina School Boards, the United States Merits System Promotion Board and City and County Governments. He also focuses in the areas of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Criminal Law.

Before forming the Gist Law Firm, Attorney Gist held positions with the South Carolina Department of Labor as Director of Labor Conciliation and Director of Labor Management Services with responsibilities as Deputy Commissioner for Labor Management Employment Issues for 18 years. Mr. Gist was a State Agency Director for the South Carolina Commission of the Blind handling employment issues in the rehabilitation and advocacy for persons with disabilities to involve the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Rehabilitation Act. Attorney Gist has received many awards throughout his career. In 1985, Attorney Gist was recognized by the Harvard University Business Review Department as a Labor Expert in the field of labor-management litigation and employer-employee dispute resolution arenas in the United States. As a result, the South Carolina General Assembly by Joint Resolution of the S.C. Senate and the S.C. House of Representatives recognized him for his achievements on March 12, 1985. Martindale Hubbell recognizes him as being a very high rated attorney in the field of Employment Law.

Attorney Gist is a recipient of the Columbia Urban League Lincoln C. Jenkins Legal Scholar / Advocate Award for his help with underprivileged youth in the legal profession in 2013. He is also the recipient of the Midland’s Coalition of Churches Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Achievement Award in 2014. Mr. Gist has been recognized as one of the top attorneys in North America in the areas of Employment and Labor Law. Mr. Gist has been an outstanding litigator in federal and state courts throughout the United States.  Attorney Gist has won trials in South Carolina and Maryland representing clients in matters of employment/contract legal cases.  As the supervising attorney over a staff of attorneys throughout his career (many who are now judges and litigators throughout the United States) has educated and trained attorneys in keeping with his legal philosophy “Committed to Winning”.  Attorney Gist forming a formidable team with Attorney Aaron Wallace has been successful in winning novel and precedential court cases.  Sarah Dawkins vs. Union Hospital District before the South Carolina Supreme Court and most recently in January 2019, Attorney Gist and Attorney Wallace won a 5-0 unanimous decision before the South Carolina Supreme Court.  As lead attorney, Mr. Gist has argued before the United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, appeared in federal court in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the federal and state courts of North Carolina, administrative hearings in the State of Florida, and the State of Georgia.  Attorney Gist practices before the United States District Court and in all 46 circuit courts of South Carolina.


Attorney Gist is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, the Richland County Lawyers Association, and the Columbia Lawyers Association.  Attorney Gist served as the President of the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association, having been elected for two terms and the American Bar Association. Attorney Gist was appointed by the South Carolina General Assembly to the SC State Ethics Commission where he serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners.  In addition, Attorney Gist is the Chairman of the Board of Wateree Community Action Agency which serves Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, Richland, and Sumter counties in assisting economically challenged constituents.  He is a member of the Columbia Chapter Omicron Phi of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and a Deacon at Saint John Baptist Church.  Attorney Gist also was the Chairman of the Board of North Columbia Business Association until December 2017.


Attorney Gist is married to Adrienne R. Gist and they have two children, The Honorable Deandrea Gist Benjamin and Mr. Donald Everett Gist and three grandchildren.

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