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Melissa Fried Spence


  • (T) 843.720.1742
  • (F) 843.414.8229

Melissa Fried Spence is an employment attorney in Charleston, where she focuses her work on building proactive strategies that help clients avoid long, protracted legal disputes involving a variety of labor and employment matters.  She has represented employers in both state and federal court against lawsuits arising under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, and the FLSA.  She also represents employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission. 

Melissa has negotiated and tried numerous cases to verdict, representing clients in a wide range of industries, and has argued before the state and federal courts as well as the South Carolina Court of Appeals and the South Carolina Supreme Court. She began her legal career as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Daniel F. Pieper of the South Carolina Court of Appeals and has worked as an adjunct professor of appellate advocacy and legal research, analysis, and writing at the Charleston School of Law. 


  • Charleston School of Law, J.D., 2009, cum laude
  • Wofford College, B.A., 2006, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions
  • South Carolina
  • United States District Court, District of South Carolina
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • Vice President, Board of Directors, Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina
  • Charleston County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar Association
  • Graduate, Charleston Chamber's Leadership Charleston, 2019
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers "Rising Star", 2016-2019
  • “Top HR Challenges of 2016,” Nexsen Pruet’s Quarterly Breakfast Briefing – Charleston, SC (January 2016).
  • “FLSA Update,” Nexsen Pruet’s Quarterly Breakfast Briefing – Charleston, SC (September 2016).
  • “FLSA—Putting What You’ve Learned into Practice,” McLaughlin & Smoak Benefits inFORUM—Charleston, SC (October 20, 2016).
  • “Discrimination and Harassment,” NBI’s Human Resource Law from A to Z—Charleston, SC (November 17, 2016).
  • “FMLA and Leave Issues,” NBI’s Human Resource Law from A to Z—Charleston, SC (November 17, 2016).
  • “Guns and the Workplace,” Nexsen Pruet’s Quarterly Breakfast Briefing – Hilton Head, SC (February 2017).
  • South Carolina Manufacturer’s Alliance Annual HR Managers Meeting – Panel Participant—Myrtle Beach, SC (November 2, 2017).
  • “Preventing Harassment and Retaliation Claims,” Nexsen Pruet’s Employment Law Webinar Certificate Series (December 13, 2017).
  • “Strategies for Reducing Sexual Harassment Liability in the ‘Me Too’ Era,” Nexsen Pruet’s Quarterly Breakfast Briefing – Myrtle Beach, SC (February 2, 2018).
  • “Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations,” Nexsen Pruet’s Quarterly Breakfast Briefing – Myrtle Beach (May 4, 2018).
  • “Weapons at Work: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Violence,” Nexsen Pruet’s Employment Law Briefing — Hilton Head Island (May 17, 2018).


Reading the current best seller, staying active with yoga and barre, and spending time with my Boston Terrier, “Millie,” are what you will likely find me doing outside of my practice at Nexsen Pruet. As a Wofford College alumni, I have a special place in my heart for Boston Terriers – the school’s mascot – which is why I made the decision to adopt Millie after graduating. Her name is actually short for “Milliken,” a prominent benefactor of Wofford College. Go Terriers!

I’m also deeply involved in a number of civic ministries and serve as a board member of the Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina. The group provides education, counseling services, medical care, social support, and a safe haven for young pregnant and parenting mothers in need.

Melissa Fried main bio imageMelissa Fried Outside NP photo

“I don’t know that there are any short cuts to doing a good job.” - Sandra Day O'Connor