Posted in: Lawyers Public Services Division, Awards

Cindy Coker, the Public Services director of the SC Bar, has always had a passion for helping those in need.

A teacher by genetics and a lawyer by training, Coker has worked in South Carolina’s legal community for three decades. Of those 30 years, 22 of them have been at the SC Bar. Coker started her career at the Bar as the Law Related Education director where she worked with many school programs across the state. Now she oversees Public Services, which includes clinics, pro bono and all programs that work directly with the public.

Because of her efforts and dedication to assuring access to legal services for all, she was recently recognized as a 2019 South Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leadership in Law honoree.

“It’s humbling and gratifying to know that what I what I do every day has made an impact on others,” Coker says.

Many moments in her life led her to a leadership position in her career. Born into a military family, she experienced traits like discipline, dedication and independence at an early age. Professors in law school were some of her biggest supporters, and they helped get her where she is today. Many people describe Coker as a “fixer of everything.”

“When the situation calls for calm and clear, Cindy will step up to the plate,” says Pamela Robinson, director of the University of South Carolina School of Law Pro Bono program and a colleague and friend of Coker.

The legal system’s symbol is the scales of justice. Sometimes for the scales to remain balanced, leaders in the field have to make difficult and unfavorable choices. “Good leaders lead wherever they are,” Coker says. “Leaders in the legal profession have the responsibility of ensuring that the law doesn’t become the tool of the ‘haves’ to the detriment of those who have less or have not.”

Coker balances her work and home life in three simple ways. Her tips are to have a strong sense of who you are, a good support network and the ability to laugh, sometimes at yourself.  One of her biggest loves is South Carolina baseball. You can find her at Founders Park cheering on the Gamecocks during every home game.

“I am extremely blessed to have a strong network of family and friends,” Coker says.

The SC Bar congratulates all the 2019 Leadership in Law honorees: Ellen Adams, Bradley Banias, James Bannister, Brett Bayne, Kenneth Berger, C. Pierce Campbell, Robert Cook, Jeremy Cook, Malcolm Crosland Jr., Eduardo Curry, Christine Gantt-Sorenson, J. Cameron Halford, Mark Joye, John Kassel, Mary Lucas, Justin Lucey, Thomas McKinney, Cody Mitchell, S. Jahue Moore, Tom Neal, Elizabeth Owen, Maggie Ramsey, Murrell Smith, Robert Stepp, David Thomas, Marco Torres, Kathryn Williams and Sheila Willis.