Michael Traynham is an experienced environmental law attorney based in the firm's Columbia, South Carolina office. As a member of the Real Estate & Environmental practice group, he brings his trial experience and comprehensive knowledge on a wide variety of South Carolina environmental issues when advising his clients.

Prior to joining Nexsen Pruet, Michael worked for Fort Jackson as an in-house Environmental Law Attorney. There he advised the installation's Department of Public Works on numerous environmental issues, including groundwater, dam safety, hazardous waste management, and NEPA compliance. Michael also previously served as Chief Counsel for Environmental Quality Control at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. His responsibilities included overseeing legal services for the Bureau of Water, Bureau of Air Quality, and Bureau of Land and Waste Management, as well as advising agency staff on environmental permitting and enforcement issues affecting the State of South Carolina.

Michael received his B.S. from the University of South Carolina Honors College and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law. While in Law School, Michael served as a research editor for the South Carolina Law Review, as Vice President of the Christian Legal Society, and worked as both a Guardian ad Litem for Richland County and as a Faculty Research Assistant.

Michael previously served as a Law Clerk to Nexsen Pruet in the summer of 2005.

Community & Professional

  • SC Bar Environmental & Natural Resource Section, Council Member: 2018-present
  • Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), Board Member: 2014-2020
    • Committee Chair, Board Development Committee; Member, Finance Committee: Board Secretary; At-large Member, Executive Committee
  • SC Bar Environmental & Natural Resource Section, Council Member: 2018-present
  • SC Bar Administrative and Regulatory Law Committee: 2018-2019
  • SC Bar Judicial Qualification Committee: 2017-2018 

Outside Nexsen Pruet

Michael spends his free time reading a good book, watching bad science-fiction, and spending time with his wife and three daughters. Additionally, Michael enjoys hiking and running (slowly), particularly at Harbison State Forest, which hosts the annual Hairy Bison trail race. He has run marathons, half-marathons, and multi-day relays with friends from the F3 Lake Murray Region. When time permits, Michael enjoys traveling, especially to locations with quality breweries.


  • ABA Seer Leadership Development Program: 2019-2020
  • DHEC Leap Program: 2016-2017
  • Board Member of the Year, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands-2016



  • Author- The Shape of the Water (Law): The Evolving Regulation of Surface Water in South Carolina, American Bar Association, Water Resource Committee Newsletter, October 2, 2018.
  • Author - What Every Lawyer Needs to Know about Investment Fraud, S.C. Young Lawyers, August 2011.
  • Acknowledgement/Research Assistant- Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts (Update, Incorporating Release No. 12), Jonathan G. Blattmachr, F. Ladson Boyle, Arthur M. Michaelson, Practicing Law Institute, New York City December 2006).


  • Sales and Use Tax in South Carolina, CLE, November 7, 2013, Columbia, SC.
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Law Seminar (SCAG) August 22, 2014, Columbia SC.
  • 2016 Governmental Law Section Mid-Year Update - Hot Topics with DHEC (Panel - presented DHEC Case Update), June 17, 2016 Columbia, SC.
  • Quarterly OSWW Training - Legal Process, June 29, 2016 Blythewood, SC.
  • STSM Cultivation Presentation 
    • August 10, 2016 - Forest Acres Rotary Club.
    • September 4, 2018 - Saint Andrews Rotary Club.
  • DHEC CLE: What is Effective Regulation?; Overview of the Regulatory Promulgation Process, October 28, 2016 Columbia, SC.
  • Dams in Post Flood South Carolina; Environmental & Natural Resources Section CLE, SC Bar Convention 2017 - January 19, 2017 Greenville SC.
  • OGC Overview - Common Legal Issues Within DHEC, Compliance and Enforcement Meeting (DHEC Internal) - April 26, 2017 Columbia, SC.
  • Competing for SC's Water Resources (panel discussion); Env. & Natural Resources Section CLE, SC Bar convention 2018 - January 18, 2018, Kiawah Island, SC.
  • Hot Topics in Agriculture; Farm Bureau Annual Conference, November 30, 2018, Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • Standing: Not as Easy as it Looks; (co-presented with Dawn Miller) Env. & Natrual Resources Section CLE, SC Bar Convention 2019 - January 17, 2019, Myrtle Beach, SC. 
  • DHEC Tonight!; SCAARLA 2019, February 1, 2019 Columbia, SC
  • Environmental Update (co-presented with Elizabeth Dieck); Government Law Section, May 3, 2019, Columbia SC.
  • Environmental Law for ECOS, (training offered monthly to new environmental compliance officers at Fort Jackson). 


Speaking Engagements



  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
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