Meet our Attorneys
I grew up in a trailer park in Augusta, GA and was moved to South Carolina in the late 1960s to finish my senior year of high school. I graduated from Irmo High School when St. Andrews had only two lanes and made Columbia my home.
No one I knew had ever worked in law. After getting a journalism degree from the real USC, I wanted to continue to learn, and law school seemed a worthy challenge. My first legal job was during law school at a distinguished Columbia law firm where all the lawyers wore suits, white shirts and ties. It never occurred to me that being a female had anything to do with the quality of lawyering, so I never tried to blend in. I thought I was a lawyer. (I think I was right).
Wonderful experiences came to me in the form of clerkships with the Honorable Ralph King Anderson Jr., who was on the circuit court bench, where I learned how the court system worked. I became a staff attorney at the state Supreme Court, where I was drafted into service by then incoming Chief Justice J. B. “Bubba” Ness.
After leaving the Supreme Court in 1987, I practiced for ten (10) years in a large law firm before realizing I was a round peg in a square hole. I looked for a place where I fit, but finding none, I opened my own law firm by default in 1997. We’ve worked with lots of amazing people, and I like to think we have helped most of them. We are picky about what cases we take and are glad that the clients who choose us are picky about who they choose as their lawyers. We are certainly not for everyone, nor is everyone for us. But when it clicks, it’s magic.
I finally married my high school sweetheart from Augusta, who was my boyfriend when my parents dragged me away from Augusta in 1969. He is the love of my life (we both knew it then, but the adults thought they knew better.) He is persistent, thank goodness. We have no children, but we claim special people as our family. We have two dachshunds, Sophie and Tucker (you have to have some age on you to get the joke) adopted through rescue organizations when their first families couldn’t keep them. The Ballard-Allen family divides its time between Columbia and Savannah, which I was stunned to find has more azaleas than Augusta, which was a great surprise. I became really good at working remotely long before COVID, so I’m pretty much always working.
Favorite Movie: The Big Lebowski
Favorite Book (fiction): Mila 18, by Leon Uris. Runners-up: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Favorite book (nonfiction): Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Favorite musician: Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Eagles, Prince (an absolute genius)
Harvey M. Watson III
I’ve been with Ballard Watson since 2008. In addition to my practice and involvement in preparing continuing legal education programs, I participate as a member of the South Carolina Bar Association Professional Responsibility Committee.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family (my nephew especially), snuggling with my adorable labradoodle, Bruno, cooking and entertaining, and binge-watching true crime shows.