RAYMOND W. GODWIN
Ray was born in 1955 in Nurnberg, West Germany, to a US career Army father who married a German war bride. Ray spent much of his childhood years in his father's native state of Georgia and later moved to New Jersey. After graduating cum laud from Bob Jones University in 1979 with a major in History and minor in German, Ray attended USC Law School and graduated in 1981. Upon his admission to the Bar of South Carolina in 1982, Ray and his wife, Laura, resided in Columbia, SC, where he practiced corporate law until 1983.
In one year's time, Ray and Laura moved to New Jersey, where he was admitted to the Bar in 1984. Ray practiced corporate law and eventually became a managing partner in Alfieri, Godwin, Bachman, & Minders.
Early in his law career, Ray focused on corporate law, real estate law, business litigation, and similar fields of practice. Ray began researching New Jersey's adoption laws soon after he and Laura began considering adopting a child of their own. After adopting their first daughter, Ray began taking referrals of adoption cases. Beginning in 1990, half of Ray's practice consisted of adoption and children's issues. He then relocated to South Carolina in 1993 and focused almost solely on adoption matters.
While continuing his adoption practice, Ray became a contract attorney for the South Carolina Department of Social Services in the late 1990's where he assisted the department with child abuse and neglect cases and termination of biological parental rights. Ray's experience with the department prepared him to represent foster parents in adopting their foster children. Since 1993, Ray has consistently been involved in more than 50 adoptions each year. He has spoken and written extensively about adoption issues. He co-authored with his wife, Laura, a book entitled The Complete Adoption Book.
This past year Ray has been involved in extensive appellate work resulting in a landmark custody and adoption decision in the Supreme Court of South Carolina in addition to having affirmed two other contested cases at the Appellate level.
Ray and Laura are active members of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, A PCA church located in Traveler's Rest, South Carolina, and have been involved in the church youth ministry in addition to leading a community group on Sunday evenings.
They are also very active in their community. Ray formerly served as chairman and continues to serve as a board member of Compass of Carolina, an organization that assists individuals and families struggling with life issues such as domestic violence, debt and truancy. In addition, Ray has coached recreation and club soccer for eight years and is currently assisting with his daughter's high school team. He has also donated his time and resources to the local crisis pregnancy center for several years.