June 1997

I.S. Leevy Johnson, Esq.

Attorney

I.S. Leevy Johnson, Esq.

In 1985, I.S. Leevy Johnson, Esq. reached the zenith in the South Carolina legal profession when he ascended to the presidency of the South Carolina Bar.  Election to this office was the crowning achievement in a distinguished legal career, which has included service as a trial lawyer, legislator, bar leader, lecturer and community servant. A product of Richland County Public Schools, I.S. enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he received an Associate of Mortuary Science Degree in 1962. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1965.  He then enrolled at the University of South Carolina Law School and was awarded a Juris Doctor Degree in 1968.  Embarking on a career in public service, in 1970, I.S. made history by becoming one of the first African-Americans elected to the South Carolina General Assembly since Reconstruction.  In 1999, Governor Jim Hodges bestowed upon him the state’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Palmetto. While his law practice has been diverse, I.S. has concentrated to a large measure on trial work.  His peers have honored him by inviting him to regularly serve as a speaker for the mandatory continuing legal education programs each year.  From the South Carolina Bar, he received the Durant Award.  From the University of South Carolina School of Law, the Compleat Lawyer Award.  From the Richland County Bar Association, the John W. Williams Award.  And from the Columbia Lawyers Association, he received the Matthew J. Perry Medallion.    In 1985, Ebony magazine recognized him as a dynamic leader on the “legal front” in the United States.  In describing himself at a public gathering, world famous attorney Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. said, “I am the I.S. Leevy Johnson of Los Angeles.”  In 1998 I.S. was inducted as a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  This organization has been described as the “Hall of Fame” of trial lawyers.  And on January 3, 2001, The State Newspaper reported that I.S. had been listed among the best lawyers in America in the area of criminal defense.  He has also been recognized in numerous editions of “Super Lawyer”. In 1995 I.S. became owner of Leevy’s Funeral Home, which was founded by his grandparents, I.S. and Mary Leevy.  Under his leadership Leevy’s Funeral Home has earned the reputation of providing superior personnel, superior service and superior equipment to all families entrusted into their care.  I.S. is married to the former Doris Wright.  They are the parents of two sons, George C. Johnson and Christopher Leevy Johnson.  Doris is a former public school teacher and currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Benedict College.  George is a 1992 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is also a graduate of the University of South Carolina Law School and is a shareholder Johnson, Toal & Battiste.  His areas of practice are criminal defense and workers compensation.  Chris is a 1995 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a 1997 graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services.  He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and is the managing director of Leevy’s Funeral Home.  Chris received his Masters and a Ph.D Degree in History at the University of South Carolina.   He is the pastor of Brookland Baptist Church, Northeast.