Specialist in Labor & Employment Law

Vance is the firm’s senior litigation partner. With over 30 years of litigation experience – nearly all of which has been in the area of employment law – Vance has litigated hundreds of employment lawsuits. Since the early 1980’s, Vance has represented every South Carolina Governor, regardless of political affiliation, in employment matters. E.g., Rose v. Beasley (S.C. 1997); Sloan v. Sanford (S.C. 2004). Vance has been involved in some of the most important employment-related cases in South Carolina, including successfully defending two class action lawsuits that each sought against the State damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Anonymous Taxpayer v. South Carolina Dept. of Revenue (S.C. 2008); Ward v. State (S.C. 2000); see Alston v. City of Camden (S.C. 1996).

Former Military Officer

In addition to representing public employers, Vance represents numerous private employers in employment cases – discrimination, wrongful discharge, handbook issues, and employment-related torts. A certified specialist in labor and employment law, Vance has handled hundreds of discrimination lawsuits and charges. He has argued more than 50 times before South Carolina’s appellate courts and has handled some 40 appeals before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Vance is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and received his L.L.M. in labor and employment law from Georgetown University School of Law. He served active duty in the United States Navy JAG Corps and was a Commander in the United States Naval Reserves until 1995. Vance received the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Riley for his service as an Assistant Attorney General for South Carolina from 1981-84. A native South Carolinian, Vance was born in Charleston.

Vance has served on the Columbia YMCA Board of Directors and currently serves as the Board’s president.


  • University of South Carolina, J.D., 1975
  • Georgetown University, L.L.M., 1979
  • University of South Carolina, B.A., 1972


  • South Carolina, 1975
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals, 1977
  • District of Columbia, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1979
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1999

Certifications & Memberships

  • Certified Specialist, Employment & Labor Law
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • Chair, South Carolina Bar Employment and Labor Law Section, 1995-1996

Military Service

  • U.S. Navy, JAGC, active duty, 1975-1979
  • Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve, JAGC, 1979-1995
Vance J. Bettis - Employment & Labor Defense Lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina

Areas of Concentration

Discrimination & Harassment, Employment Litigation, Retaliation, Whistleblower Laws, Wrongful Discharge

South Carolina Labor Attorney

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