- Tommy was born to the late C. Thomas Cofield III and Mary Anne Lowe Cofield in Columbia, South Carolina. Tommy's dad was a professional trumpet player and then a practicing attorney in the Upstate. He grew up in Greenville County, living in Greenville, Mauldin, Fountain Inn and Simpsonville, and he attended Hillcrest High School. He attended the University of South Carolina where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in English Literature as a major and Religion as a minor. He graduated cum laude, and he was admitted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He served on the Student Court, and he studied writing composition under acclaimed poet and novelist James Dickey and short story writer William Price Fox.
- He married his high school sweetheart, Janet McDonald Cofield, of Mauldin, a second grade teacher in Lexington District One. They have two adult children, Thomas C. Cofield, Jr. (TJ), of Columbia, an ordained minister, currently employed by the State of South Carolina, and Caitlin Carolina Cofield, employed with Ramsey Solutions in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Tommy graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1982. Following law school, he worked two years as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Walter T. Cox, III, a Circuit Court Judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. He began private practice with the law firm Barnes Alford Stork and Johnson, where he became a partner and then marketing manager. While at Barnes Alford Stork and Johnson, he practiced in their civil litigation division primarily in the practice of personal injury litigation, which included motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, construction litigation, medical and professional malpractice, products liability, business litigation, contract disputes, probate litigation, real estate litigation, litigation involving the South Carolina Tort Claims Act, as well as declaratory judgement and insurance contract/bad faith litigation.
- After 18 years, Tommy departed Barnes Alford and re-formed his late father's Cofield Law Firm, LLC in Lexington. Tommy has been licensed to practice law in South Carolina since 1982. He is a member of the South Carolina Bar and the Lexington County Bar. He is a past member of the Richland County Bar. He is admitted to practice by the South Carolina Supreme Court, the United States District Court in South Carolina, and the United States Court of Appeals - Fourth Circuit. He is also a certified Circuit Court mediator. From 2008 to 2014, he taught at The Charleston School of Law as an Adjunct Professor. He taught Trial Advocacy, Law in Literature, and Law and the Art of the Narrative.
- He is a current member of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates), which is the pre-eminent organization for trial attorneys.
- In 2011, Governor Nikki Haley appointed Tommy as the Governor's Appointee to the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina. In 2015, Governor Haley re-appointed him to the Board of Trustees, where he served until the end of 2018.
- While on the Board of Trustees, he served on the following committees during a very successful, and high-watermark era in research, growth, building academic achievement, and athletics, for the University: Academic Affairs, Health Affairs, Buildings and Grounds, Student/Trustee Liaison, Audit and Compliance, later served as the first Chairman for the Student and System Affairs Committee, as well as ad hoc committees on Gift-Naming Opportunities, By-Laws, Strategic Planning, and Legal Affairs.
- While serving as a Trustee for the University during the preeminent Presidency of Harris Pastides, the following building projects and initiatives, among others, were completed: The School of Law, The Darla Moore School of Business, the School of Medicine in Greenville, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Palmetto College - Online Bachelor's Degree Program, the Rice Athletics Building, the "Dodie" Academic Achievement Center, the Athletics Village, the Steve and Jerri Spurrier Indoor Practice Facility for Football, the Long Family Football Operations Facility, the Civil Rights Initiative at the Ernest Hollings Library, the Alumni Center Building, the Center for Health and Well Being and Thomson Student Health Center, 650 Lincoln Housing Project, Public/Private Project, IBM Innovation Center Building, Statues for George Rogers, Cocky and Richard T. Greener.
Other Civic Boards and Memberships
In April of 2019, following his second term on the Board of Trustees for the University of South Carolina, Mr. Cofield was nominated and elected to the Board of Trustees for SACSCOC (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges), which is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern States. Mr. Cofield has previously served on the Executive Board for the South Carolina Baptist Convention and also for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, South Carolina Chapter. He is active in his church, Lexington Baptist Church, where he has served as Deacon, Deacon Chairman, Trustee, and Church Moderator. Prior positions of service also include Lexington High School Athletics Booster Club Board Member, Lexington High School Orchestra Board Member, and Lexington High School Wrestling Booster Club Board Member.
Goode v. St. Stephens United Methodist Church, Op. No. 2750, Court of Appeals of South Carolina 329 S.C. 433; 494 S.E.2d 827; 1997 S.C. App. Lexis 15 Nov. 4, 1997, Submitted, Nov. 17, 1997, Filed, Rehearing Denied January 22, 1998. Rehearing Denied Sept. 28, 1998, Fortune v. Gibson, No. 1634, Ct. of Appeals of South Carolina, 304 S.C. 279; 403 S.E.2d 674; 1991 S.C. App. Lexis 54, Jan. 21, 1991, Heard, April 1, 1991, Filed; Espinal v. Blackmon, No. 1368, Court of Appeals of South Carolina, 298 S.C. 544; 381 S.E.2d 921; 1989 S.C. App. Lexis 97, June 5, 1989, Heard July 3, 1989, Decided.
Tommy Cofield, Author
Tommy Cofield is a poet, short-story writer, and novelist. He grew up in the upstate of South Carolina, and he learned to drive a stick shift on Scuffletown Road. He is a practicing attorney in Lexington, South Carolina. He attended the University of South Carolina, where he studied creative writing under James Dickey and William Price Fox. He and his wife, Janet, live in Lexington, South Carolina, and they have two adult children, T.J. Cofield and Caitlin Carolina Cofield. Scuffletown is his first novel.