Burnette honored with Columbia Urban League social justice award

M. Malissa Burnette

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – M. Malissa Burnette, a co-founder of Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, has been honored with the Stephen G. Morrison/Nelson Mullins Social Justice Award from the Columbia Urban League.

The award was presented Tuesday during the League’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and annual Equal Opportunity Day dinner.

Burnette was chosen in recognition of her pioneering leadership in fighting for social justice and gender rights in South Carolina. Her work includes the landmark federal case that opened the state-supported military institution, The Citadel, to women. Burnette also fought a successful battle to allow girls to play contacts sports in public schools in South Carolina.

The award is named in honor of attorney Stephen G. Morrison. A former chairman of the Columbia Urban League, he was deeply concerned about equality in education and helped lead the legal team that fought for funding for rural and disadvantaged schools in South Carolina.

Burnette and Morrison were contemporaries at the University of South Carolina School of Law. “Steve was a genuinely wonderful person, as well as a talented lawyer who was devoted to many causes. It is indeed an honor to receive an award that bears his name,” Burnette said.

A certified specialist in employment and labor law, Burnette has worked in other landmark cases outside the education realm. She and co-founder Nekki Shutt were lead counsel in the case that paved the way for same-sex couples to legally wed in South Carolina.

About Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, PA

Located in Columbia’s historic Vista district, Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, PA’s attorneys are licensed to practice in all South Carolina courts and at all levels of federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. The firm represents clients in a range of areas, including employment and environmental law. They also handle employee benefits and ERISA matters, civil rights cases, privacy and data protection issues, family law and government matters such as eminent domain, land use and zoning. Learn more at https://burnetteshutt.law/