Before being appointed a US Attorney, Mr. Nettles graduated from The Citadel and earned his law degree at The Widener University School of Law, where he was on law review and was a member of the moot court honor society. After graduating, he began a career that has taken him into every corner of the legal system. Mr. Nettles began his career as a public defender in Columbia, S.C. providing criminal defense services to indigent defendants who could not afford attorneys. During that time, he ensured that the legal system would not leave the economically disadvantaged behind.
From 1997 to 2005, Mr. Nettles worked in private practice as a sole practitioner. He continued his criminal defense work and became one of the region’s most well- respected “white collar crime” lawyers. He also represented clients accused of drug crimes, handled several court-appointed capital cases, twice tried cases that were argued before the United States Supreme Court and worked in medical malpractice and other torts.
From 2005-2010, he worked at Sanders & Nettles, LLC . In 2010 Nettles was appointed United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina by President Obama and was sworn into that office on May 3, 2010. As the US Attorney, he dramatically overhauled the office to focus on public corruption, fraud and white collar crime, while also greatly increasing resources to the extraordinarily important false claims whistleblower division. Under Mr. Nettles’ leadership, the US Attorney’s office made white collar crime and public corruption the highest priority of the criminal division’s efforts. He also earned national praise for the innovative and intelligent approach his office took to drug crimes. He is now back in private practice with his own firm, Bill Nettles, Attorney at Law, in Columbia, S.C.