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William R. Byars, Jr., J.D.

Director, Children's Law Office at the University of South Carolina

The Honorable William R. Byars, Jr., currently serves as director of the Children's Law Office at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to this, he served as a family court judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit from 1989 to August 1999 and practiced law at the firm of Savage, Royall, Sheheen, and Byars for 17 years. Since 1994, Judge Byars has served as a board and executive committee member of South Carolina's Families for Kids, where he has worked for child welfare reform. In addition, he has served as chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Juvenile Justice and president of the South Carolina Conference for Family Court Judges. He was appointed to the National Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice and has served on the Kershaw County School Board for 10 years. Among his honors and awards have been two Kershaw County Distinguished Service Awards, the Champion for Children Award from the South Carolina Alliance, and two awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commissioner for "Outstanding Leadership and Service in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect." In 1999, Judge Byars received South Carolina's highest civilian award "The Order of the Palmetto" from Governor David M. Beasley for "leadership in juvenile justice and children's law reform." Judge Byars received a bachelor's degree in government from Louisiana State University and a juris doctor degree. from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Date Created: July 8, 2020