Samuel P. Nielson


Samuel P. Nielson is a Partner with our firm and a strong advocate for employee rights. He has worked on both sides of the employment bar, initially with an international defense firm before joining the employee rights firm Sessions & Kimball LLP. Sam also externed for the Honorable Andrew J. Guilford of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Sam has varied litigation experience in both federal and state courts through single plaintiff and class action lawsuits. He currently represents individual employees from all walks of life, from senior executives to minimum wage earners, in pre-litigation negotiation, administrative hearings, and has taken multiple plaintiffs to verdict in trial.

For the past eight consecutive years – from 2013 to 2020 – Super Lawyers Magazine has named Sam a “Southern California Rising Star” in Employment Litigation. He has a perfect 10/10 rating from the online legal referral service Avvo, and a “BV – Distinguished” peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. The National Advocates, a companion organization to the National Trial Lawyers, recognized Sam as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” attorneys practicing in California. In 2013, he received the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Services from the California State Bar. And his legal work has been recognized nationally in Employment Law360.

Sam currently serves as the International Section Chair for the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Employment and Labor section. He is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association’s Education Committee and previously served as that committee’s co-chair, overseeing continuing legal education programs for the bar association’s more than 9,000 members. Sam has been a member of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Board of Directors, a mentor to law students at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, and he currently serves as a member of the Orange County Bar Association Labor and Employment Section’s Executive Committee. Sam is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, University of South Carolina, and Brigham Young University.

Sam’s interests include running, reading, martial arts, and competitive ballroom dancing. More than anything, Sam loves spending time with his wife and young children.



University of South Carolina, PhD; University of Iowa College of Law, JD; Brigham Young University, BS, magna cum laude with University Honors.

Bar Admissions

Admitted to practice before all California state courts; US District Court, Central District of California; US District Court, Northern District of California; US District Court, Southern District of California.

Professional Memberships

Orange County Bar Association; Labor & Employment Section of the Orange County Bar Association; J. Reuben Clark Law Society.


  • Up-and-Coming 100: Southern California Rising Stars, Super Lawyers Magazine (2019, 2020) 
  • Up-and-Coming 25: Orange County Rising Stars, Super Lawyers Magazine (2019, 2020) 
  • Southern California Rising Star, Labor and Employment Law, Super Lawyers Magazine  (2013 to 2020) (honor limited to 2.5% of attorneys in the state)
  • Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services from the California State Bar (2013)
  • Chair, International Employment and Labor Law Section – J. Rueben Clark Law Society (2016 to present)
  • Board of Directors – J. Rueben Clark Law Society (Orange County Chapter) (2015 to 2016)
  • Education Committee Co-Chair – Orange County Bar Association (2015 to 2016)
  • Executive Committee Member – Orange County Bar Association Labor & Employment Section (2012-2016; 2019 to present)
  • Writer – Iowa Law Review
  • Volunteer, Supervisor, and Trainer for an international non-governmental organization in Belgium and France
  •  BV-Distinguished peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbel
  • Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers by The National Advocates (2015)


Sam’s articles and commentary have appeared in various publications, including The New York Times, Michigan Law Review: First Impressions, Rutgers Law Record, Advocate, The Orange County LawyerThe Desert News, and The Salt Lake Tribune. His first book, A More Perfect Union (262 pages), was published in 2017. In addition, his legal work has been recognized nationally in Employment Law360.

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