Experience & Background

Born and raised in South Carolina, Jael Gilreath graduated from Christ Church Episcopal School in 2003.  Even at a young age, Jael was committed to a life spent serving others, spending her summers participating in service trips to Mexico, Brazil, and Belize, during which she helped renovate a school and took food and supplies to remote communities.  Jael also used this time to hone her language skills and is now proficient in Spanish.

Jael went on to study political science and theology at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where she began preparing for a career as a criminal defense attorney.  While in college, Jael completed internships at the Bradley County District Attorney’s Office and the Bradley County Department of Children’s Services.  After graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jael attended the University of South Carolina School of Law where she was a member of the Moot Court Bar and the South Carolina Journal of International Law & Business.

Jael graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2011, and her career in criminal defense began in 2012 when she began working as a private investigator.  Jael investigated numerous felony cases where her clients were accused of criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, assault and battery, and murder, with some cases even being dismissed following Jael’s investigation. Jael also conducted investigations for Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) cases, performed background checks, and investigated other types of legal matters, including insurance fraud and allegations of child abuse.

Jael then went to work at the Eleventh Circuit Public Defender’s Office, where she served as an Assistant Public Defender and Senior Assistant Public Defender for Lexington County and was ultimately named Deputy Public Defender for the Tri-County region, which includes Saluda, Edgefield, and McCormick counties in South Carolina. During her time at the Public Defender’s Office, Jael fought to protect the rights of clients accused of crimes ranging from Magistrate-level misdemeanors, such as domestic violence, driving under the influence, and assault and battery, to all types of felony cases, including, but not limited to, burglary, drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, trafficking, criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery, and murder. Jael also handled multiple appeals from magistrate court convictions.  Jael has represented clients in pleas, preliminary hearings, bond motions, and trials before magistrate and General Sessions courts, winning a number of not guilty verdicts during her time as a public defender.

Jael is a member of the South Carolina Bar, the Lexington County Bar Association, and the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  She is also a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College.

When Jael is not in court or preparing to defend her clients, she is a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling, and spending time with her family, including her two rescue pups.