International Society of Primerus Law Firms
Joel W. Collins, Jr.
Practice Areas:

Columbia Attorney
Joel W. Collins, Jr.

Phone: 803.256.2660


Languages: English

Joel W. Collins, Jr. is a founding partner of Collins & Lacy.  Upon graduation from the University of  South Carolina School of Law, Joel served four years in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC) of the United States Army and served one year in the Viet Nam Americal Division, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal.  Joel also served as an assistant professor of law at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.   He then spent two years with the Frankfurt, Germany law firm of O’Haire and Fiore, after which he was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, focusing on the investigation and prosecution of white-collar criminal cases. In 1982, after three years with the firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, Joel established his own practice, which later became Collins & Lacy.  He has held numerous leadership positions in civic organizations including Rotary, National Safety Council and the ABOTA Foundation, and he enjoys a variety of volunteer activities in the community.  Joel’s reputation in the courtroom and professional standing have led his peers to consider him one of South Carolina’s preeminent attorneys, according to Martindale-Hubbell. He also is named one of the Best Lawyers in America©, one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviews in the legal profession.


  • University of South Carolina, Juris Doctor
  • Clemson University, B.A., English


  • South Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Services
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Federal Court of Claims
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Practice Areas

  • Professional Liability


  • Restaurants/Clubs


  • Collins & Lacy Founding Partner Appointed to Prestigious Roles in American Board of Trial Advocates
  • SC ETV Airs Constitution Day Podcast and PSA. Click here to listen and register.
  • Four Collins & Lacy Attorneys Selected for South Carolina Super Lawyers® 2011
  • Collins & Lacy P.C. Founding Partner Helps Establish Wofford College Prelaw Society
  • Collins & Lacy Attorneys Named Among Legal Elite
  • Eight Collins & Lacy Attorneys Designated “Best Lawyers”

Practice Focus/Trial Experience

  • White-Collar Criminal Defense: criminal cases alleging abuse of federally funded programs, income tax evasion, racketeering and other issues related to the Hobbs Act.
  • Complex Civil Litigation: wide variety of civil disputes including breach of contract, non-compete agreements and tortious interference with contracual rights.

Awards and Recognition

  • Best Lawyers© (2009-2014)
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers© (2008-2014)
  • Primerus Lifetime Achievement Award (2012)
  • Leadership in the Law Award, South Carolina Lawyers Weekly(2012)
  • Wofford College Distinguished Citizen Award (2011)
  • Greater Columbia Business Monthly’s Legal Elite (2010)
  • Inaugural South Carolina Chapter Service Award, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (2010)
  • Masters in Trial Award, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Foundation (2009)
  • Champion for Children Award, Friends of Juvenile Justice Foundation(2006)
  • Bridge Builders Award, Friends of Juvenile Justice Foundation (2007)
  • Platinum Compleat Lawyer Award, University of South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association (2005)
  • Jeter E. Rhodes, Jr., Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, South Carolina Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (2002)
  • Rotarian of the Year, Lake Murray – Irmo Rotary Club (2002)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Clemson University Alumni Association(2001)
  • Clemson Fellows Award (2001)

Professional, Civic, and Community Involvement

  • Clemson University William T. Howell Pre-Law Society
    • Founder and Alumni Advisor
  • Lake Murray – Irmo Rotary Club
    • President (1996-1997)
  • South  Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Foundation
    • President (2008)
    • Secretary (2007)
  • South Carolina Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Chapter President (1997-1998)
  • South Carolina Chapter of the National Safety Council
    • Board of Directors (1995 – 2011)
    • President (2006)
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Member
  • John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court, Member
  • International Society of Barristers, Fellow
  • Friends of Juvenile Justice Foundation – Champion for the Children
  • International Society of Primerus Law Firms
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Salem United Methodist Church

Papers, Presentations, and Publications

  • Honors College Course Instructor on the history, philosophy and interpretations of the United States Constitution, including recreation of the debates during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, University of South Carolina, August 2010. Click here for the course syllabus. 
  • Growing a Law Firm That Stays Together, The Primerus Paradigm, Fall 2009, 28-30
  • Charles Pinckney and the Seventh Amendment, Voir Dire, Fall 2009, 4-8
  • The Advantages of the American Civil Jury Trial System, Voir Dire, Spring 2008
  • The Benefits of the American Jury System, ABOTA Foundation Conference, “Judges and Attorneys in Interaction:  The Commonalities and Differences in the Portugese and American Legal Systems,” May 2008, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Maymester Course Instructor on the history, philosophy and interpretations of the United States Constitution, including recreation of the debates during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Clemson University, May 2007
  • The Saga of Marbury v. Madison, November 2006
  • The Vacancy Crisis in our Federal Courts, Voir Dire, Volume 4, Issue 4, 1997
  • Junior Officer’s Guide to the Legal Aspects of Command West Point Press, 1972

Attorney News & Announcements

Contact This Firm

Collins & Lacy, P.C.

1330 Lady Street
Sixth Floor
Columbia, SC 29201
United States

Law Firm Contact: Joel Collins, Jr. / Christian Stegmaier

Tel: 803.256.2660

Fax: 803.771.4484



Member Since: 1996

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