Posted in: Lawyers None, Diversity Committee Spotlight


"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

Judge Shirley Canty Robinson, born and raised in Greeleyville, has served as judge on the SC Administrative Law Court since 2009. 

Throughout her career, Robinson has held her parents’ guiding principles — to treat every person you encounter with respect and dignity — closely.

Like many, Robinson’s unique perspective grew during her journey to the bench. She began her legal career clerking at the Law Firm of Edwards & Associates, where she transitioned into a junior associate role after admission into the SC Bar in 1991. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Eighth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office as a prosecutor for juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect cases.

After a year, Robinson began her time as executive director for the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, where she served for two years before joining the Law Offices of Newman & Sabb, P.A. in 1995. In 2000, Robinson joined the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation where she worked as a legal advisor to its several licensing boards until election into the SCALC.

Robinson was a first-generation college student, having earned her associate degree from Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill.  She earned her bachelor’s in accounting from the University of South Carolina in 1984 after working full-time and attending classes where her schedule permitted—whether it was at night or during her lunch hour. In December 1990, she earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

She is the proud mother of one son and equally proud legal guardian of her teenage grandniece.

Robinson knew she wanted to serve as judge with the SCALC from the moment it was established in 1993. Serving as executive director with the Legislative Black Caucus at the time, she worked diligently to turn her dreams into a reality. After election to the SCLAC in 2009, she took the oath at her 93-year-old “very proud” father’s bedside — sweetening the accomplishment even further.