Posted in: Lawyers None


Look back on South Carolina’s biggest economic development projects of the past two decades, and most likely Charleston attorney Stephanie Yarbrough has been involved in making sure they happened.  

A partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, Yarbrough shared her experiences in the article Bringing the World to South Carolina: Insights from An Economic Development Attorney in March’s SC Lawyer magazine. Her first job after graduating from the College of Charleston was at the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, and she also has previously served as the City of Charleston’s director of Economic Development.  

A graduate of the SMU School of Law, Yarbrough combined her love for the state with her passion for economic development and the law. She works closely with domestic and international companies seeking to expand or relocate operations to the Carolinas and the Southeastern United States. 

“This state is so dear to me and creating jobs for our communities and our families in South Carolina is my passion,” she said. “For me, every new job we create in this state is one more family that is supported.  Every single job we create, therefore, matters.”  

Her philosophy is to invest in her clients from the outset to build long-term partnerships for the future. 

“I have the great pleasure of working all day, every day, with executive teams from some of the largest companies on our planet,” Yarbrough said.  “I see the diversity of their teams, and I love listening to the various perspectives different people bring to hugely important discussions.” 

As a recognized thought leader in the economic development space, Yarbrough is frequently sought after to speak at local and national industry conferences and regularly publishes articles and insights for her clients and the community. She presented “Economic Development Practice in South Carolina—A Case Study” at the 2022 SC Bar Convention during the Banking and Securities Law Section Seminar. 

She reflected on the power of diversity in bringing the Palmetto State to the next level when it comes to attracting business and facilitating growth. 

“We are a great state of great people, and I want to see us embrace people who do not look like us, who don’t worship like us, who don’t act like us, and I want to see us lift up others and treat one another with respect,” she said. “We are better by listening to all of the voices in the room.  We must ensure our leaders in this state reflect this diversity. We have amazing people in this state, and my favorite quote is that ‘We did not come this far to only go this far.’”

Lifting up and embracing others is an important guiding philosophy Yarbrough learned from her mentors and colleagues in the legal profession. 

“I have had great mentors in my life – Alex Sanders, Joe Riley, those at my firm such as Betty Temple,” Yarbrough recalled. “These powerful mentors, all South Carolina lawyers, share one very important thing in common – they lift up others. They respect others. They listen to differing viewpoints and react with grace, and with wisdom.”