Meet the Humans at Law


When we met in the seventh grade in Asheville, we had no idea of the adventures that awaited us. Together we graduated from Carolina Day School in 2001, NC State University in 2005, and Campbell University School of Law in 2013.  As business partners and spouses, we are thrilled to be raising our son in the mountains where we were raised, and are excited to be a part of this amazing community.

At Clayton and Clayton, we strive to focus on the human element of law – we truly enjoy getting to know our clients, finding solutions that best fit the unique situations surrounding each client and family that we work with, and keeping the process straight forward and easy to understand.

As parents, we understand the high priority of making sure our children and loved ones are well taken care of if something unexpected happens. We offer estate planning packages that include wills, health care powers of attorney, advance directives/ living wills, and durable powers of attorney. We also offer assistance for those who are starting small businesses and need help with entity formation and the many other necessary elements to get a business up and running.



A native of Haywood County, James has deep ties to Western North Carolina.  James graduated cum laude from North Carolina State University in 2005 with a B.A. in English, where he received Departmental Honors in English.  Before graduating from Campbell University School of Law in 2013, James worked in management with a Fortune 500 company in Raleigh.  Working in the legal field allows him to put his skills to work as he takes on new projects and helps others. 

While at Campbell, James served as the managing editor of the Campbell Law Observer, participated in the Richard A. Lord Moot Court Competition, was active with Campbell’s Juvenile Justice Mediation Clinic, and served on the Campbell Law Technology Committee. James was also selected as a member of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges in 2013.

In his free time, James enjoys spending time with his family, tinkering with British cars, and attempting to perfect his home brew recipe. 


Raised in Brevard, Melanie is always happy when she is in the woods and preferably near a waterfall or two. A 2005 North Carolina State University graduate with cum laude honors, Melanie spent several years working in the non-profit field with the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers, Community Foundations Serving NC, and Environmental Defense Fund before graduating from Campbell University School of Law in 2013.

While at Campbell, Melanie participated in the Richard A. Lord Moot Court Competition, was active with Campbell’s Juvenile Justice Mediation Clinic, had a leadership role with a student organization, and received honors standing in several classes.

Her non-profit experience combined with her law license enables her to further her passion for helping others within her community.  In addition to spending time with family and friends, Melanie enjoys spending time hiking and exploring with James and their son, and is currently on the board of directors of Our VOICE in Asheville.