Lionel S. Lofton was born and raised in McClellanville, South Carolina, where he still resides. He graduated from McClellanville High School, where his mother taught school, in 1963. During his senior year at McClellanville High School, he was named to the Post and Courier’s All Star Basketball Team, which he still talks about to this day. Following graduation, he enrolled at the University of Georgia to study Forestry. Following one year at the University of Georgia, he transferred to Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, where he obtained a BS degree, graduating in 1967. During his years at Campbell University, Mr. Lofton was very active in politics and served as the Chairman of the College Republicans for North Carolina.
Following graduation from Campbell University, Mr. Lofton followed in his mother’s footsteps and taught school at Gaffney High School in Gaffney, South Carolina, for one year prior to attending law school. He received his juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1971 and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar the same year. While in law school, Mr. Lofton worked as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office.
Following graduation from law school, Mr. Lofton was immediately hired as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina. He is the only attorney in South Carolina named as an Assistant United States Attorney directly out of law school. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division from 1971 to February, 1983. During this time, Mr. Lofton left the United States Attorney’s Office for a six month period of time to serve as legal advisor to his friend, former Governor James B. Edwards.
In 1983, after twelve years as a Federal Prosecutor, Mr. Lofton left the United States Attorney’s Office and opened his private practice in Charleston, South Carolina. His experience and tenure in the United States Attorney’s Office facilitated the development of not only a statewide, but also a national practice, representing those accused of involvement in criminal activity and representing those injured as the result of negligence of others.Mr. Lofton’s roots have always been in the South Carolina Lowcountry. He still lives in his hometown of McClellanville, South Carolina, a small coastal fishing village not far from Charleston. He has served as a Deacon and an Elder in the New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church in McClellanville and served on the McClellanville Town Council for several years. For a number of years, he owned two shrimp trawlers, an enjoyed participating in the local fishing industry. Mr. Lofton and his boys enjoy the outdoors and can regularly be found fishing and shrimping the creeks around McClellanville. Additionally, they enjoy hunting deer on their small farm in Williamsburg County, South Carolina.