Charles L. McLawhorn, Jr.

Retired Attorney
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Post Office Box 8088, Greenville, NC 27835-8088

After a distinguished legal career, Sonny retired from the practice of law at the end of 2020.

Upon receiving his Master of Laws degree in 1977, he founded his law practice in Greenville, NC and then joined Ward and Smith to continue his decades-long commitment to superior client service. Sonny has been a guest speaker at East Carolina University, as well as a lecturer in the School of Business and the Department of Communications.  For the past 40 years, he has presented more than 200 programs to various professional organizations and civic groups. A veteran of the Vietnam era, Sonny served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1965 through 1971. 


  • LL.M., Taxation, New York University School of Law
  • J.D., with Highest Honors, Oklahoma City University School of Law
  • A.B., Political Science, East Carolina University

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Albemarle Bank and Trust Company (local advisory board)
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina Foundation for Christian Ministries

About Me

I grew up on a tobacco and dairy farm in the quiet community of Renston, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

My wife, Lisa, is self-employed as a financial planner, with offices in Greenville, North Carolina.  I enjoy studying the Bible, and I have taught Sunday School for 20 years.  My oldest daughter is an attorney living in Norman, Oklahoma, and has served as the Commissioner of Labor for the State of Oklahoma.  My son is Vice President and General Counsel for Mid-Con Energy Partners, LP, a natural resources company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  My youngest daughter works as an attorney for a Charlotte law firm. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Campbell University School of Law after graduating from North Carolina State University. 

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2021
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2022
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 2021

Subscribe to Ward and Smith