SARAH CLINGMAN grew up in the Shandon area of Columbia. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in English Literature from Columbia College in 1983, a Master of Arts degree in the History of Colonial America in 1985, and a Juris Doctorate in 1990 from the University of South Carolina. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Clingman was awarded the Kenin Fellowship and practiced law in Washington, DC during her fellowship year. After returning to SC, Ms. Clingman practiced with Charleston and Beaufort law firms. She returned to Columbia in 1996 and developed a specialized legal practice limited to the provision of legal assistance to individuals and families with members who suffer from disabilities or having other special needs. In providing these legal services, Ms. Clingman provides estate and disability planning, special needs and long term care planning, and guardianship, conservatorship, estate, and other judicial protective proceedings. Ms. Clingman’s mission is the provision of quality legal services in the most cost-effective and ethical manner to individuals and families struggling to cope with the challenges presented by disabilities and special needs by the provision or coordination of holistic services to address every aspect of individual needs presented. Ms. Clingman strongly believes that information and education is essential in navigating the health care system and in identifying and accessing available benefits. Her firm’s community service focuses on the delivery of basic information about these topics to community and advocacy organizations. Ms. Clingman is also a frequent lecturer for continuing education programs designed for lawyers, accountants, social workers, medical professionals and care managers.
Ms. Clingman has been a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) since 1992 and serves on the Board of Directors of the SC NAELA Chapter. She is a charter member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners. She is also a member of the Elder Law Committee and Probate, Estate, and Trust (PET) Sections of the South Carolina and Maryland Bar Associations and has served on the SC Probate Code Revision Subcommittee of the PET Section.
Ms. Clingman formed Clingman Law Firm in 2000 and has over 10 years experience in the Columbia area assisting individuals and families, whether in need of long-term planning or emergency assistance with decision-making in times of crisis.
Ms. Clingman is admitted to practice in all South Carolina and Maryland federal and state courts and in the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Clingman is a member of the American, Richland and Lexington County Bar Associations, the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association and the Maryland State Bar Association. She is one of only five SC attorneys who have earned the designation of Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), as provided by the National Elder Law Foundation, and is recognized by the SC Supreme Court as a specialist in this area. She is also a Certified Circuit Court Mediator.
Ms. Clingman is an active volunteer for the SC Bar Pro Bono program and provides many hours of pro bono representation to persons in need. She also assists several non-profit organizations serving the elderly and disabled. In the past Ms. Clingman served on the Board of Directors of the Palmetto Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Citizens Advisory Board for the CM Tucker Center. She is currently a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Rice Home and serves as counselor to the SC Society of Mayflower Descendants and serves on the Reproductive Technology Committee of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.