Sarah Elizabeth Whatley is a native South Carolinian who grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. She attended high school at Hammond School in Columbia and graduated in 1999. She was awarded a full academic scholarship to the College of Charleston where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 2003. While in college, the College of Charleston named Sarah a Distinguished Honor Student, and she was a member of several honor societies, including Golden Key International Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Fraternity, and Who’s Who Among Students in America’s Colleges and Universities. Sarah always knew that she wanted to be a lawyer, and she worked at Richardson, Plowden, Carpenter, and Robinson, P.A. in Columbia for a year after graduating from college in order to gain law firm experience.
In 2004, Sarah then attended law school at University of South Carolina School of Law where she was a member of numerous legal societies, including the Student Bar Association, Palmetto Law Society, and Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity. Sarah achieved making the Dean’s List for several semesters and graduated with her Juris Doctor Degree in December 2007. While in law school, Sarah discovered her passion for family law and focused her area of concentration in that field. She was selected for an internship through the law school for Professor Roy T. Stuckey, Esquire, the author of Marital Litigation in South Carolina, which is the primary reference resource for all South Carolina family law matters. Sarah was also the law clerk for the General Counsel of the Office of the Governor of South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program where she developed a comprehensive appellate manual designed to assist attorneys with the appellate process of child abuse and neglect cases. Additionally, Sarah served as a law clerk in private family law practice where she researched complex family law matters involving equitable distribution of marital assets and debts, alimony, and child custody, visitation, and child support as well as assisted with mediation and trial preparation. Since becoming a member of the South Carolina Bar in 2008, Sarah has dedicated nearly all of her focus to private family law practice. Sarah is extensively knowledgeable and experienced in mediation and litigation of divorce and child custody cases as well as in drafting equitable and comprehensive settlement agreements. Sarah is also a certified Guardian ad Litem, and therefore she is qualified to represent the best interest of parties’ children in private cases containing contested issues of child custody and visitation. Sarah has litigated family court cases in Horry, Georgetown, Dillon, Marlboro, and Williamsburg counties.
Sarah is a member of the American Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar, the Horry County Bar, and the Coastal Women’s Law Association. In addition to practicing law, Sarah has also volunteered in various pro bono local legal community programs, including acting as a scoring judge in Horry County high school Mock Trial competitions and participating in the WBTW – TV Ask-a-Lawyer Telephone Bank. Sarah was also awarded the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award in 2015 for providing exceptional representation to her clients.
Sarah lives in Murrells Inlet, SC with her husband, Tom, son, Thomas, and dog, Maggie.