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Evans law partner gives back to future business leaders

Adam Nelson is a partner in the Columbia County law firm of Fleming and Nelson. 

Adam Nelson of Columbia County firm Fleming and Nelson plotted his career path in front of the family TV watching re-runs of the Perry Mason show in the 1990s. “I was always interested in government and politics,” said the attorney who turns 38 this week.

Nelson focuses his practice on duties as chief counsel for the cities of his hometown of Harlem— plus Lincolnton, Washington, and Greensboro.

Adam was 16 when introduced to the Youth Leadership program by a Harlem High School guidance counselor.

In 1998, a Harlem High School guidance counselor circulated a flyer inviting students like Nelson to be part of the second Youth Leadership classes. This program and Leadership Columbia County for adults—have become foundational pieces of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. (please see accompanying story on the upcoming Youth Leadership deadline).

“It was a good way to learn about the county and have something on my resume,” he said.

Fast forward more than 20 years, and Nelson is on Year #7 on the Youth Leadership Committee. He and other community leaders meet each month during the school year to plan out that months’ visit to area hospitals, industries, schools, government service providers, Fort Gordon, and a visit to the State Capitol in Atlanta.

“That’s the trip I plan each year; unfortunately, we had to do a zoom call to Atlanta during Covid-19,” said Nelson. He has a special connection to make the trip unique for the students. His law partner Barry Fleming is also a longtime Georgia State Representative from the 121st District.

Each year, Adam arranges for a day at the Georgia Capitol allowing for students to meet the Governor and lawmakers. This 2019 event featured outgoing Governor Nathan Deal.

Nelson says the interactions he had in 1998-99 and 2012 as a member of Leadership Columbia County – and still has with community leaders – are priceless. He is still in touch with Reagan Williams, who was Chairman of the Board of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce– and Lance Danko, a local community leader in the medical field. (see Lessons Learned).

Adam Nelson (left) photographed in 1999 for a Columbia County News Times story focusing on the 2nd ever Youth Leadership program.

“The biggest thing is how interconnected our community is. The metrics show Columbia County is one of the best counties in the country. When you are in the program, you see why with industry, healthcare, law enforcement, firefighting, quality of life. We are very fortunate.”

Nelson says his relationships always come in handy when he can call on a community leader to aid him in better understanding work in his legal practice.

“The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce does a great job of recognizing our future assets to the community,” added Nelson

He hopes rising sophomores and juniors take advantage of Youth Leadership.

He’d love to meet your son and daughter and share his experiences. Nelson’s story may encourage youngsters to become a lawyer like himself.



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