Registration Fees:
Attorneys: $125
Paralegals (must be accompanied by registered attorney): $75

To register Paralegal/Legal Assistant online: log in as Bar Member, select “Search For Previous Attendee,” then “Add New Guest” (if paralegal has attended an SC Bar program, please search), complete information and click “Create New Attendee.”

Lawyers are under more pressure than ever to compete with alternatives for legal services, including online legal self-help service, to provide affordable, high-quality representation to their clients. This seminar provides documents, strategies and tips for each phase of domestic cases in family court, from getting the basic information from the potential client through the trial, filing the final order, and addressing any motion to reconsider. The emphasis will be on the forms, letters and documents required by the family court or necessary for the successful advocate. The seminar will introduce South Carolina Divorce Forms, an electronic form book using HotDocs Marketplace for automatic document creation and assembly.

Practitioners at all levels will learn to use their computers to structure sounder cases, prepare better documents and become stronger advocates. You are encouraged, but not required, to bring a laptop or tablet with Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. This will allow you to create documents with the speakers to enhance your hands-on experience. The speakers will be available during breaks and after the seminar for questions and discussion.

This program is limited to 96 registrants, so sign up today!

This is an intermediate level program.

South Carolina Divorce Forms is an online program of commentary, forms and checklists to help both new and experienced lawyers quickly and inexpensively prepare the documents for a successful family court practice. This allows the lawyer more time to focus on the unique problems and the appropriate strategy for each client. Lawyers should spend their time listening, thinking and planning rather than “reinventing the wheel.”

The forms vary in complexity. The lawyer can prepare, print and sign a summons, coversheet or similar document in less time than he or she can tell someone else to do it. Other documents, such as pleadings, motions and orders, take more time and skill to enter the correct information, but the final document will be a clear and concise statement of the facts, the law and the conclusions without passive sentences and verbiage. The document will be formatted, ordered and attractive in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. You can then edit it, which should be unnecessary in most cases.

South Carolina Divorce Forms will not solve all of your problems. It will not get the client to your office nor will it collect your fee, but it should help at every other stage of your family court case, regardless of your level of experience.

The lawyer's job is persuasion: persuading the client, persuading the opposing party and opposing counsel, and ultimately persuading the trial and appellate judges. Persuasion may be oral, such as arguments or examination; demonstrative, such as exhibits; or written, such as pleadings, motions, discovery, briefs and proposed orders. At each stage, short, accurate, attractive and compelling documents are necessary. Our purpose is to help our audience proceed through these stages with the best documents quickly at the least expense.

8:30 a.m. Registration

8:50 a.m. Announcements

9 a.m. Introduction of Family Court Practice Management
Thomas F. McDow
McDow and Urquhart, LLC

9:15 a.m. Lawyer's Duty of Technological Literacy
Nancy Jo Thomason
Thomason & Pracht, LLP

9:30 a.m. The Goals of Document Preparation
Malissa P. Church
The Echols Firm, LLC
9:45 a.m. Introduction to Form Book
Thomas F. McDow
Nancy Jo Thomason

10 a.m. Using HotDocs
John Federico
Affinity Consulting

10:45 a.m. Break

11 a.m. Introduction to Form Book
Thomas F. McDow

11:15 a.m. Getting the Basic Information
Michael B. Smith
Morton & Gettys, LLC

11:30 a.m. Court Administration Forms
Malissa B. Church

11:45 a.m. Affidavits
Thomas F. McDow
Nancy Jo Thomason

12:30 p.m. Lunch (provided)

1:30 p.m. Using HotDocs Marketplace
John Hoy
HotDocs Marketplace

2:15 p.m. The Financial Declaration
Erin K. Urquhart
McDow and Urquhart, LLC

2:30 p.m. Briefs
Thomas F. McDow

2:45 p.m. The Temporary Order and Decree of Divorce
Thomas F. McDow

3:15 p.m. Break

3:30 p.m. Responsive Pleadings and Motions
Thomas F. McDow

All registrations must be pre-paid. Cancellation & Refund Policy: Refunds, less $25 administrative fee, will be made for cancellations received in writing to the CLE Registrar at by 5 p.m., one week prior to the seminar. Cancellations will not be accepted within one week of seminar date. One-time transfers to seminars of like value or to the live webcast of the seminar (if available) will be accepted for a $25 administrative fee in lieu of cancellations within one week of seminar. Requests to transfer to the live webcast must be received by 1 p.m. the day prior to the program. Designated substitutes may take the place of registrants unable to attend.

If you have a disability, please call ahead to let us know how we may accommodate your needs.


  • Columbia
    In-Person Seminar
    Bar Conference Center
    1501 Park Street , Columbia, SC 29201