150 N. Michigan Ave. Ste. 1420
Chicago, IL 60601

James T. McLaren

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McLaren & Lee

Contact Information

McLaren & Lee
1508 Laurel Street
PO Box 11809
Columbia SC 29211-1809
Work (803) 799-3074
Fax (803) 252-3548

Practice State

South Carolina


James T. McLaren has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for more than a decade. 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 to 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 certified Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, where he is currently serving as National Immediate Past President and on various committees. He has served as President of the South Carolina Chapter and National Delegate.  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 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, Association For Justice, and he 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 has also co-authored important Legislation that impacts Family Law in South Carolina.


Practice emphasizes Traditional Client Representation and Litigation


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  • Abbeville, South Carolina
  • Aiken, South Carolina
  • Allendale, South Carolina
  • Anderson, South Carolina
  • Bamberg, South Carolina
  • Barnwell, South Carolina
  • Beaufort, South Carolina
  • Berkeley, South Carolina
  • Calhoun, South Carolina
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Cherokee, South Carolina
  • Chester, South Carolina
  • Chesterfield, South Carolina
  • Clarendon, South Carolina
  • Colleton, South Carolina
  • Darlington, South Carolina
  • Dillon, South Carolina
  • Dorchester, South Carolina
  • Edgefield, South Carolina
  • Fairfield, South Carolina
  • Florence, South Carolina
  • Georgetown, South Carolina
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Hampton, South Carolina
  • Horry, South Carolina
  • Jasper, South Carolina
  • Kershaw, South Carolina
  • Lancaster, South Carolina
  • Laurens, South Carolina
  • Lee, South Carolina
  • Lexington, South Carolina
  • Marion, South Carolina
  • Marlboro, South Carolina
  • McCormick, South Carolina
  • Newberry, South Carolina
  • Oconee, South Carolina
  • Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Pickens, South Carolina
  • Richland, South Carolina
  • Saluda, South Carolina
  • Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Sumter, South Carolina
  • Union, South Carolina
  • Williamsburg, South Carolina
  • York, South Carolina


University of South Carolina, BA 1973; University of South Carolina, JD 1976.

Legal Organizations

Diplomate, American College of Family Trial Lawyers, 2008-2014; Chapter President, International Network of Boutique Law Firms, 2007-2014; Member, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Family Law Sections of the American Bar Association, Family Law Sections of the American Bar Association, American Association For Justice, South Carolina Bar Association, South Carolina Association For Justice and Richland County Bar Association; S.C. Bar, Family Law Section, Chair, 1991-92; Chair-Elect, 1990-91; Secretary, 1989-90; Section Delegate, 1995-96; Council, 1988-95; S.C. Bar Practice and Procedures Committee, Chair, Family Law Sub-Committee, 1989-95; Chair, Sub-Committee on Jurisdiction in Family Courts, 1979-80; S.C. Bar, Lawyer-Accountant Relationship Committee, Chair, 1998-99; S.C. Association For Jusice, Family Law Section, Co-Chair, Family Court Judicial Liaison, 1983-86; Chair, 1983-84; Vice-Chair, 1982-83; Secretary, 1981-82; Treasurer, 1980-81.


Named, 2007 Fellow of the Year, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; 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 The Best Lawyers in America, Family Law designation, 1993-2015 Editions; Named, South Carolina Super Lawyers, Family Law, 2008-2014; Named, Legal Elite of the Midlands, Columbia Business Monthly, 2013-14; Named, The Best Lawyers in the Midlands, Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, 2011-2014; 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, 2004-2006; Received “AV” designation from Martindale Hubbell, 1996; Medical University of South Carolina, Board of Visitors, 2000-2004.

CLE Presentations

Various Family Law topics, South Carolina Bar, South Carolina Association For Justice, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and Mandatory Judicial and Continuing Legal Education Seminars, including: Instructor, ABA Family Law Section, Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute, 2009-2011, 2013-2014; Whipping Up Some Justice: Parenting Plans, SC Bar Webinar Series, 2013; Counterpoints to Collaborative Law, SC Bar, 2013; How Litigation Apps Can Make You a Better Trial Lawyer, SC Association for Justice Annual Meeting, 2013; Using Technology to Present a Complex Equitable Division Case, AAML Spring Meeting, 2013; Technology for iPads and PC Laptops at Depositions and Trial, AAML Technology Symposium, 2012; Big Case Technology, State Bar of Texas, 2012; Presenting the Family Law Case: The Basic Essentials, SC Bar, 2012; CLE Chair and Moderator, AAML Annual Meeting, Chicago, 2010-2011; Record Predicates – How to Get Records Into Evidence, SC Bar, 2010;Steering Your Way Through a Successful Litigation, S.C. Bar, 2010; AAML Aruba Spring Conference CLE, CLE Chair & Moderator, 2010; Trial Notebooks: Direct and Cross Examination of a Party, S.C. Bar 2009; Blended Mediation/Arbitration: How and Why It is Working, S.C. Bar, 2008; Determining the Marital Standard of Living, AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce, Las Vegas, 2008; Arbitration, Cleveland Bar Association, 2007; Copyrights, Are They Divisible in Divorce Proceedings, S.C. Bar, 2007; Make Your Point in Family Court, S.C. Bar, 2006; Arbitration You Can Do In Now, S.C., 2007; Moderator, Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Relations Practitioners, S.C., 2005 and 2006; Fee Agreements: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Nuts and Bolts of Fee Agreements and Ethical Requirements for Lawyers, What A Lawyer Should/Should Not, As Well as Can/Cannot Do, AAML, Mexico, 2006; Family Law Practice with a Case Management System and Support – 60 Tips to Build a Successful Family Law Practice, S.C. 2005; Challenging Child Support Jurisdiction – Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Law Practitioners, S.C. 2004; Legal Issues for Law Practice Evaluations, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, S.C. 2004.


Contributing Author: 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; South Carolina Family Court Reform Act and Related Statutes and Rules, 2006-2007.

AAML National

Immediate Past President, 2015-2016; 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.  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.

AAML Chapter

South Carolina Chapter President, 2001-02; President-Elect, 1999-2000; Vice President, 1997-98, National Delegate to the Board of Governors, 2005-07; Board of Managers and Executive Committee 2007.

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