Connor effectively juggles distinguished Army service, law career in central South Carolina
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
The Bill Connor Law Firm will host a reception and open-house celebrating five years in practice, on Monday, Feb. 13, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the firm’s offices 1408 Russell Street in Orangeburg. The public is invited.
Serving clients in Orangeburg and across the state, even nationally, the Bill Connor Law Firm LLC first opened its doors on Centre Street in Orangeburg, Feb. 2018. As a result of its expanding caseload, the firm moved to its more spacious Russell Street location the following year.
Connor, who retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as an infantry officer (colonel) in 2020, graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2005, immediately passed the bar and began practicing law. Over the next 17 years, he served his ever-increasing client base while serving his country, including service in Afghanistan where he was the senior U.S. military advisor in that country’s embattled Helmand Province. Connor served in the regular U.S. Army for more than 10 years and the remainder of his total 30-plus was in the active Army Reserve component.
A graduate of The Citadel and now serving on that institution’s prestigious Board of Visitors, Connor founded the Bill Connor Law Firm while working on a masters in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College (he earned “distinguished graduate” honors in 2018) and simultaneously serving as both U.S. ARMY NORTH’s senior representative for South Carolina and as chairman of the National Security Task Force of the gubernatorially established S.C. Floodwater Commission. All that and Connor is a prolific writer, regularly penning articles for The Christian Post, The Charleston Mercury, and Orangeburg’s Times & Democrat among other publications.
How has Connor been able to juggle all the seemingly disparate pieces?
“Focused work, and God has blessed me and the firm with such an incredibly able and effective staff,” said Connor. “Moreover South Carolina being a very pro-military state, we have a court system that is flexible and every bit as understanding of the military and an attorney’s military service – like my own – as they are lawyers who also serve as legislators.”
Connor added that he “leaned on God in prayer” throughout, he continues to do so, and he is grateful for his loyal, long-term clients.
In a recent article by Gene Zaleski of the Times & Democrat, Connor said: “We cannot thank long-term clients enough. All of us have a purpose in life which transcends business, and our purpose is helping our clients navigate various important issues.”
Connor’s clients are indeed close.
“Beyond the attorney-client relationship, we have those clients who become dear friends, who stop by to pray with us and to share with us simply what’s going on with them, their lives, and the lives of their families,” said Connor, who ends each day’s staff meeting with prayers for clients and reading a passage from Scripture.
“God has blessed us so richly,” said Connor, whose firm supports his former Afghan interpreter’s Christian mission in India.
Soon after retiring from the Army, Connor and wife Dr. Susan Connor, relocated to Mount Pleasant; not the firm’s offices, but their residence. He commutes several days each week from Charleston to Orangeburg, and he says has no intention of relocating his Orangeburg office. But he adds, he will soon open a smaller satellite office in the Charleston area.
“It’s easier for my wife and I as our son [the youngest of three children] is a cadet at The Citadel and then there is my work and meetings with The Citadel’s Board of Visitors,” Connor said. “I love Charleston and Mount Pleasant. I love Orangeburg too, which is why I will always be here.”
A decorated Army combat infantry officer (Airborne, Ranger, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star), among Connor’s myriad civilian awards and honors is a S.C. Senate commendation and the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest award, presented to him by Governor Henry McMaster in 2021. His most precious recent honors, he quickly adds: “Are Susan’s and my two twin grandsons.”
Why the firm’s move from Centre Street to Russell Street in Orangeburg? More space and the perfect location. “We are near the courthouse and the Orangeburg city center,” Connor said.
For more information about the Bill Connor Law Firm or Monday’s open-house reception, phone (803) 937-5571 or email [email protected]
– Photograph of Col. Bill Connor, courtesy of Larry Hardy, The Times & Democrat (2023)