While a student at USC Law School, Tyra McBride would recall a poem told to her by a classmate, “If a task has once begun, never leave it until it’s done, be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” The poem reflects a young Salters woman who is accomplishing her goals and ready to take on the world.
Photo by Michaele Duke
Tyra McBride grew up in the tiny town of Salters in a single-family household. Having been raised by her loving mother Elizabeth, her household was filled with love but there were many challenges. Throughout those hardships McBride learned to be resilient and find the motivation to forge a name for herself. Her hard work has paid off as she was recently selected for inclusion in The National Black Lawyers – “Top 40 Under 40” in South Carolina.
McBride is an associate in the Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd firm’s Columbia office and focuses her practice on commercial and financial services litigation. She works with companies to resolve contractual disputes and real estate litigation.
McBride’s mother was an important influence during her childhood. “My mother consistently impressed upon me the value of a good education and instilled in me a strong work ethic,” said the C.E. Murray graduate. “These principles were the foundation for my aspirations to pursue a legal career.”
McBride’s pathway was also carved through Senator Ronnie Sabb. After graduating from Francis Marion in 2011 with a Bachelor in Political Science her plan was to work in local government and get her Master’s in public administration. But five months into her job search she was still unemployed. “I was told so many times that I lacked experience.” she said. A conversation between an aunt and the Senator, who has a law practice in Kingstree, gave her a chance. He invited her to join the team as a runner during the summer. The experience would be an impressionable one. “That was my first taste of law,” she said.
McBride was planning to apply to the University of South Carolina School of Law for her Master’s in Public Administration when Sabb asked her to stay on. “That just changed everything for me,” she said. She decided to get her certificate in Paralegal Studies but in the back of her mind she still wanted to pursue her Master’s degree. Her only obstacle was not her job, rather it was internal. “I felt that I wasn’t good enough for law school,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine myself sitting in a law school class.” Once again, Sabb’s uplifting words would move her toward her goal. “He told me, “If you have a love for the law and a hunger for more knowledge, then go to law school.”
And she did, while attending law school she worked as a summer associate for Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd. After graduating she worked as a clerk for a South Carolina Supreme Court Judge. Since August, she has worked full-time with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd assisting in Commercial and Financial Services as well as Public Utilities litigation. She is excited to one day become an expert and litigate. “I am looking forward to that,” she said. Her future is bright and she says it’s because of Divine Intervention. “If it wasn’t for God and placing Mr. Sabb in my life at the time that He did, I don’t think I would be here, where I am today.”
The National Black Lawyers organization is invitation-only and is limited to the top 40 attorneys under the age of 40 in each state who have demonstrated excellence in their profession. The organization was established to promote the nation’s top black attorneys and is designed to enhance the professional development of its members.