James T. McLaren has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for nearly two decades. He is listed in the S.C. Super Lawyers publication under the Family Law designation. He and his firm have received the highest rating ("AV"), afforded lawyers for legal ability and ethics, in the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory.
His statewide practice primarily involves complex matrimonial litigation and trial work in addition to dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration as an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers - Certified Mediator and Arbitrator.
He has held numerous positions affiliated with Family Law including admission as a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, where he is currently serving as National President and on various committees. He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He has served as President of the South Carolina Chapter of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms since 2007. He has served as President of the South Carolina Chapter and National Delegate. He is a Diplomate in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. He has served as chair of the Family Law Sections of the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Trial Lawyer’s Association (now the American Association for Justice), and the Richland County Bar Association. He is a longstanding member of the Family Law Sections of the American Bar Association, the American Association For Justice, the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Association For Justice, and the Richland County Bar Association. Mr. McLaren has authored numerous articles and has been a speaker in over 95 Family Law Continuing Legal Education Seminars, including state and national Judicial Conferences and New Family Court Judges Schools. He also co-authored important Legislation that impacts Family Law in South Carolina.
- Founding Partner, McLaren & Lee, Attorneys-at-Law
- Statewide practice limited to Family Law matters (private practice established 1976)
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, National (President, 2014-2015; President-Elect 2013-2014; First Vice President, 2012- 2013; Vice President, 2008-2012; Secretary 2007; Executive Committee, 2007-2014; Board of Governors, 2005-2006; Board of Directors, AAML Foundation, 2007-2012; Special Advisor, AAML Foundation, 2013-2014).
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, National (Chair/Member, Law Office Management Committee, 2005-2012; Member, Admissions Procedures Committee, 2004-2007; Co-Chair/Member, Website Committee, 2005-2012; CLE Chair, 2010-2011; Member, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2006-2007; Member, ALI Commission, 2006-2007; Member, Best Practices Committee, 2008-2011; AAML Sales and Marketing Committee, 2007-2008; Member, Executive Committee Sponsorship, 2008; Chair/Member, Nominating Committee, 2008-2009, 2013/14; Chair/Member, Policies Committee, 2011-2013; Member, Post-Nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements Committee, 2011-2013; Chair/Member, Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, 2011-2014; Member, Social Media Committee, 2011-2012; Member, Webinar Committee, 2011-2012; Chair/Member, AAML/ABA FLS, 2012-2014; Co-Chair, Council of Committee Chairs, 2012-2013; Chair/Member, Publications Review Committee, 2012-2014; Chair/Member, Contracts Committee, 2012-2014; Policy Publication Committee, 2013-2014; Website and Technology Committee Liaison, 2013-2014; Chair, National Admissions Board of Examiners, 2013-2014).
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, South Carolina Chapter (President 2001-2002; President-Elect, 1999-2000; Vice President 1997-98; National Delegate to Board of Governors, 2005-2007)
- International Network of Boutique Law Firms, SC Chapter President, 2007-2014
- South Carolina Bar, Family Law Section (Chair, 1991-92; Chair-Elect,1990-91; Secretary, 1989-90; Section Delegate, 1995-96; Council, 1988-95)
- South Carolina Bar, Practice and Procedure Committee (Chair, Family Law Sub-Committee, 1989-1995; Chair, Sub- Committee on Jurisdiction in the Family Courts, 1979-80)
- South Carolina Bar, Lawyer-Accountant Relationship Committee (Chair, 1998-99)
- South Carolina Association for Justice (formerly SC Trial Lawyers Association), Family Law Section (Co-Chair, Family Court Judicial Liaison, 1983-1986; Chair, 1983-84; Vice-Chair, 1982-83; Secretary, 1981-82; Treasurer,1980-81)
- Certified Matrimonial Mediation Trained, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1995.
- Certified Family Court Mediator, SC Bar and Dispute Resolution Services, 1995.
- Certified Matrimonial Arbitrator Trained, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2000.
- Named, 2007 Fellow of the Year, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers of Matrimonial Lawyers.
- Named, The Best Lawyers in America, Family Law designation, 1993 through 2015 Editions.
- Named, South Carolina Super Lawyers, 2008-2014
- Named, Legal Elite of the Midlands, Columbia Business Monthly, 2013-2014.
- Named, Legal Elite, Greater Columbia Business Monthly, 2011-2012.
- Supreme Court Appointee, South Carolina Symposium - Families In Court, sponsored by National Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 1991.
- Lecturer, New Family Court Judges Orientation School, 2004-2005
- Received "AV" designation from Martindale Hubbell, 1996-2014.
- McLaren & Lee, 2009-2014 Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
- Medical University of South Carolina , Board of Visitors, 2000-2004
- South Carolina Equitable Apportionment Act, §20-7-471, et. seq., S.C. Code of Laws
- South Carolina Alimony Statute, §20-3-130, S.C. Code of Laws
- South Carolina Family Court Handbook, 1992, 1993 and 1996 Editions
- Various Family Law topics, South Carolina Bar, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and Mandatory Judicial and Continuing Legal Education Seminars.
Preparatory and Legal Education:
- University of South Carolina, B.A., 1973
- University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 1976
- South Carolina Bar, 1976
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 1976
- U.S. District Court, South Carolina District, 1976
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2005
Bar and Professional Memberships:
- American Bar Association, Family Law Section
- The American Association for Justice, Family Law Section
- South Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Section
- South Carolina Association for Justice, Family Law Section
- Richland County Bar Association, Family Law Section
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Certified Fellow
- American College of Family Trial Lawyers, Diplomate
- International Network of Boutique Law Firms, SC Chapter President