J. Lewis Cromer opened his first law firm with close friend and law school classmate, Herbert Louthian, in 1963. The firm and its lawyers, while initially concentrating on real estate, soon established a reputation as successful trial advocates in personal injury and other cases, championing the rights of individuals against the state, insurance companies and powerful corporations.
As its practice grew, the firm needed larger space and acquired the former home of well known Columbia suffragette, Mrs. W.C. Cathcart, located at 1225 Pickens Street; it remained the home of the firm and its predecessor for over forty years.
The firm expanded with the addition of the late Colonel Herbert Meeting, who had served as Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Jackson before retiring from the Army to join Cromer and Louthian.
In 1972, after Colonel Meeting died, the firm dissolved and Lewis Cromer retained the Pickens Street property. This location remained the home of the firm and its predecessors for over forty years. The firm now operates from its new location at 1522 Lady Street in Columbia, SC.
Cromer hired three associate lawyers, all of whom were destined to become his partners. James P. Craig worked as a partner with Cromer for many years. Cromer & Craig handled a large volume of real estate closings, but gradually Cromer refocused his attention back to litigation, during the years that he served as Richland County Attorney (then a part time position).
John M. Williamson, III, now deceased, clerked for Cromer & Craig and became an associate of the firm upon graduation from law school and later became a partner in the firm of Benjamin M. Mabry and J. Lewis Cromer.
In 1981 Craig left the firm to focus on his growing real estate development business and the firm name changed to Cromer, Williamson and Mabry. Several years later Williamson left the firm to open a solo practice dedicated to the area of the law he enjoyed most, family law.
The firm of Cromer & Mabry operated until it was dissolved by mutual agreement effective July 1, 2011.*
J. Lewis Cromer & Associates currently has five attorneys.
*Mr. Mabry currently practices at Mabry Law Firm, L.L.C. at 300 Candi Lane, Columbia, South Carolina