Chelsea McNeill
Park Plaza Building 600 Monument St., Ste. 208 Box P-133
Greenwood, South Carolina
(843) 465-2356
8th Judicial Circuit Public Defender's Office
Circuit Public Defender
Completed NCDC Trial Practice Institute: 2015


Chelsea graduated from Coastal Carolina University and Charleston School of Law. She started her career as a Clinical Addictions Counselor at the Charleston Center in Charleston, SC, and then became a career public defender. She started out as a law clerk in the Charleston County Public Defender's Office and then worked as an Assistant Public Defender in multiple rural, underfunded and underserved counties of South Carolina. She was elected in August 2020 by a Public Defender Selection Committee to be the 8th Judicial Circuit Public Defender. Her position serves 4 rural counties: Newberry, Laurens, Greenwood, and Abbeville. She became the youngest Circuit Public Defender at age 37. Chelsea routinely speaks at CLE's, primarily on defending child sexual assault cases as well as serves as a guest lecturer at Wofford College on "The Psychology of Picking a Jury." Chelsea is a 2015 graduate of NCDC and is a 2021 graduate of Furman University's Diversity Leaders Initiative, making her a Riley Institute Fellow. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the SC Public Defender Association, is a member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She also serves as the Vice Chairperson for the Board of Directors at the Greenwood County, SC Humane Society and is a past Board of Directors member for the Criminal Law section of the SC Bar. She is death penalty certified.