Melissa F. Brown

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Charleston, SC

Melissa F. Brown, LLC
 | 56 Wentworth St, Ste 100, Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: 843-722-8900
Fax: 843-722-8922
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1992
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (90%),
  • E-Discovery (10%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney Melissa F. Brown is the founding attorney and principal at Melissa F. Brown, LLC, a family law firm in Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Brown handles all types of family law matters, including divorce, alimony, child support, custody, enforcement, equitable asset division, modification proceedings, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, visitation and more.

Ms. Brown has more than 25 years of experience and serves clients throughout the greater Charleston metropolitan area. She is committed to providing compassionate and strong representation to individuals and helping them make a fresh start.

Ms. Brown holds honors including an AV Preeminent* peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a top 10 ranking from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. She is a former faculty member at the South Texas College of Law National Family Law Trial Institute, and has lectured for lawyers and judges over the years.

Active in many leadership roles over the course of her career, Ms. Brown is a former chair of the South Carolina Family Law Council and previously served on various committees for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is a fellow in the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and the author of many family law articles in state and national journals.

Ms. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Virginia and received her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to founding her own firm, she clerked for a judge, served as an assistant solicitor and spent 6 years as a family law associate at a private firm.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 90%Family Law
  • 10%E-Discovery
Focus Areas

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Father's Rights


Selected to Super Lawyers for 7 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020

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About Melissa Brown

Admitted: 1992, South Carolina

Professional Webpage:


  • South Carolina SuperLawyer
  • One of the Top Female Lawyers in the country by Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • 10.0 rating on AVVO
  • The Order of the Barristers, National Member: Awarded to the top six moot court competitors; also invited to become a member of the National Moot Court team and competed in the National Moot Court Competition., The Order of the Barristers, National Member, Dean of SC School of Law, 1991
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale Hubbell, 2011

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • SC Family Law Council:  Chair (2002 - 2003); Past Chair-Elect; (2003 - 2004); Delegate to SC House of Delegates Family Law Representative (2004 -2005); Chair Elect (2001 - 2002); Vice-Chair (2000 - 2001); Secretary (1999 - 2000); current Council representative (2008 to date).
  • South Carolina Women's Lawyer's Association, member, 1996
  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an organization to preserve the best interests of the Family and of Society, and to improve the practice, elevate the standards, advance the cause of Matrimonial Law, 2009
  • Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. (2011-Present)
  • Charleston County Bar; Charleston County Family Court Bar (1993 to present):  Former Secretary (1996), 1992
  • United States of America District of South Carolina Federal Court, member, 2006
  • Faculty, Houston Family Law Trial Institute.  This program teaches practicing attorneys specific trial skills in the family law arena, 2011
  • American Bar Association:  Member ABA Family Law Section; Past Co-Chair of Sponsorship Committee; Past Co-Vice Chair, Family Law Section Law Practice Management Committee; Judge for National Schwab Family Law Writing Contest 2007 & 2008, 1996
  • South Carolina Bar Association, member; Family Law Section, member, 1992
  • Faculty, Houston Family Law Trial Institute.  This program teaches practicing attorneys specific trial skills in the family law arena, 2010

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Ashley Hall School Alumni Board, 2009
  • St. Michaels Episcopal Church, member and serve in a variety of capacities: Reader;  SC Episcopal Diocese:Member of the Ecclesiastical Court 2008 to date;Capital Campaign Committee; Buildings and Grounds Committee; Alpha group leader; Coffee Hostess; Sunday School teacher., 1982
  • Junior League of Charleston, member., 1992
  • Center for Women, Board Member (2000 - 2001), member since 1999 to date., 1999

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • South Carolina Bar’s 2013 Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Law Practitioners, Teacher
  • New Mexico Bar’s 2013 Family Law Institute, Teacher
  • South Carolina Bar’s 2013 Solo and Small Firm Conference and Tech Expo, Teacher
  • Houston Family Law Trial Institute held at the South Texas College of Law, 2010 - 2012, Faculty Member
  • “Getting Your Financial Accounts in Digital Order”
  • ABA Family E-Newsletter
  • State Bar of Georgia Family Law Review
  • University of South Carolina Law Review
  • American Journal of Family Law
  • South Carolina Family Lawyers’ Tool Kit
  • Comparing the roles of Guardian ad Litems and Custody Evaluators in a child custody case., Author, Delineating the Roles of Guardian Ad Litem and Custody Evaluators: Where Do Their Labors Intersect and Where Not?, South Carolina Lawyer Magazine, 2012

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • CLE's TAUGHT BY MELISSA F. BROWN   Apps for Family Law Trial Lawyers, South Carolina Bar, Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Law Practitioners, Columbia, SC, September 2012. Understanding the Jurisdictional Complexities & Differences When Handling Multi-State Custody, Child Support and Parental Kidnapping Cases Under the UCCJEA, UIFSA & PKPA, South Carolina Bar, Hot Tips from the Coolest Domestic Law Practitioners, Columbia, SC, September 2011. How to Try Your First Family Court Trial, Charleston County Family Law Section, How to Handle Your First Family Court Matter, Charleston, SC, June 2011. Finding and Admitting or Objecting to Electronic Evidence, Houston Family Law Trial Institute, South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX, May 2011. Houston Family Law Trial Institute, Faculty Member at South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX, May 2011. How to Define, Identify and Find Your “A” Client, South Carolina Bar, Hot Tips for the Solo or Small Firm Practitioner, Columbia, SC, September 2010 Separation & Divorce: How to Be Prepared When You Least Expect It!, Center for Women, Brown Bag Lunch Series, Charleston, SC, June 2010 Houston Family Law Trial Institute, Faculty Member at South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX, May 2010. The Role of the Mental Health Professional in South Carolina Family Law, (Guest Lecturer for Dr. Chip Taylor’s Ethics & Mental Health Law graduate studies course), The Citadel, Charleston, SC, April 2010 Roasted & Toasted: How to Introduce Information Posted on Internet Sites to ‘Burn’ the Opposing Party or Witness, SC Bar, It's All a Game: Top Trial Lawyers Tackle Evidence, Columbia, SC, February 2010 Safety & Security in a Digital Age, SC Bar Annual Convention, Family Law Section Update for Lawyers & Judges, Kiawah Island, SC, January 2010 To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Social Networking- Help or Hindrance to the Family Law Practice?, LEI National CLE Conference, Vail, Colorado, January 2010 Twitter for Lawyers, National Constitution Center Audio Conference, November 2009 South Carolina Family Law Case Update, Dixon Hughes Litigation Conference for Forensic Financial Experts, Charleston, SC, October 2009 How Becoming An Atticus Client Positively Impacted My Law Practice, Atticus Practice Builder Program for Attorney’s: How to Run Your Law Firm Efficiently, Orlando, Florida, October 2009 Effective Legal Tweets to Avoid Sounding Like a Twit!, ABA, Family Law Section Fall Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, October 2009 How to Be Prepared When You Least Expect It!, Women @ Work Group, Charleston, SC, September 2009 Social Media Marketing PhoneCast- Twitter, Atticus Group Social Media Marketing Graduate Network Call, August 2009 How to Be Prepared When You Least Expect It!, East Cooper Women's Entrepreneurial Group, Mt. Pleasant, SC, June 2009 When “Be Quiet” is Not the Response You Want to Hear:  Getting a Child's Out-of-Court Statement Into Evidence, SC Bar, It's All a Game: Top Trial Lawyers Tackle Evidence, Columbia, SC, February 2009 To Tweet or Not to Tweet: How Social Networking Services can Benefit Your Family Law Practice, ABA PhoneCast to the FLS Law Practice Management Committee, May 2009 September 2008 - Hot Tips September 2007 - Hot Tips "South Carolina Supreme Court Broadens Excited Utterance Exception:  How to Utilize Ruling in Family Court Cases" January 2007 - National LEI Conference, Snowmass, Colorado, "How to Convince Your Judge to Allow the Introduction of a Child's Out-of-Court Statement in Private Custody/Visitation Disputes" and "Time Maps: How to Effectively Use This Software in Court"  September 2006 - South Carolina Bar Hot Tips,  "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Fraud: How does the difference affect your Family Court Case" January 2006 - South Carolina Bar Annual Meeting Technology Committee CLE           "Using TimeMaps Software to Successfully Gather Information & to Illustrate Important Evidence in Court" October 2005 - South Carolina Bar. Sidebar SC Online CLE Video Series: "An Update of 2005's Family Law Cases." September 2005 - South Carolina Bar Hot Tips.  "Homeland Security Act's Impact on Family Law Cases" April 2005 - South Carolina Bar CLE Cool Tips.  Time Maps: Compelling Illustrations to Assist Lawyers, Clients and Judges April 2005 - South Carolina Bar CLE Cool Tips.    60 Tips to Build a Successful Family Law August 2004 - South Carolina Bar Seminars Direct Videotape Program  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Family Law Websites Spring 2004 - South Carolina Advanced Family Law Seminar, Hilton Head, SC  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Family Law Websites     Spring 2004 - The Good, the Bad and The Ugly: Family Law Websites  ABA Family Law CLE- San Juan, Puerto Rico Fall 2003 - Judicial Estoppel: You Can't Have It Both Ways  CLE Hot Tips                                                                                                                                 October 2003 - How Does Rule 41.1 Impact the Family Courts of Our State? CLE with Chief Justice Toal and Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr.  Spring 2003 - Sealing the Record CLE Cool Tips                                                                                                                          Spring 2002- COBRA: Do Not Let It Bite You or Your Client Cool Tips CLE    Fall 2001 - UIFSA Refresher and Business Violations Hot Tips CLE   Oct. 2000 - Mind Maps Great Software for the Family Law Practitioner Cool Tips Family Law CLE South Carolina Bar   Dec. 2000 - Family Court CLE South Carolina Bar (Organized and Moderated)   May 2000 - Using The Child Support Guidelines To Your Advantage South Carolina Bar CLE   Fall, 2000 - Child Support Guidelines South Carolina Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, Cool Tips   Oct. 1999 - Charleston County Bar's Family Law Seminar South Carolina Bar CLE - (Organized and Moderated)   Jan. 1999 - Devising Creative Visitation Schedules Charleston County Family Court Section CLE  Nov. 1998 - The Ethics of Representing More Than One Person: Conflicts of Interest Under Rules of Professional Conduct South Carolina Bar CLE - Ethics for Family Law Practitioner    Oct. 1997 - Custody and Visitation in South Carolina: The Interplay of Statutes on Parental Rights, Responsibilities and Parent/Child Contact National Business Institute   March 1997 - Understanding The South Carolina Court System Speech to Explorers Club   Nov.  1997 - The Interplay of Statutes on Parental Rights, Responsibilities and Parent/Child Contact National Business Institute, Family Continuing Legal Education      Sept. 1996 and Fall 2002 Initial Considerations in a Family Law Case Hot Tips and National Business Institute   Fall 1993- Integrity Speech to Ashley Hall Students   CLE'S ORGANIZED BY MELISSA F. BROWN   2008 Hot Tips:  Co-Chair of Program and planned and organized event with Vance Strickland   2003 Annual Bar Meeting Family Law Section for Family Court  - As Chair of the Family Law Section, I was in charge of organizing and moderating the speakers.

Educational Background:

  • University of Virginia, BA History/American Studies Program, 1987

Industry Groups

  • ABA Family Law Section
  • American Academy Of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Charleston County Bar Family Law Section
  • International Academy Of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • SC Bar Family Law Section
  • SC Women's Lawyer Association
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Office Location for Melissa F. Brown

56 Wentworth St, Ste 100
Charleston, SC 29401

Phone: 843-722-8900

Fax: 843-722-8922

Melissa F. Brown:

Last Updated: 11/21/2019

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