Stephanie Myrick Pendarvis McDonald was born in Columbia. She grew up in Charleston and attended the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and President of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and Carolina Cares. In 1991, she graduated magna cum laude, receiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for leadership, scholarship and service. She received her juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law in 1994.
While attending law school, Stephanie worked as a law clerk for the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee. She received American Jurisprudence Awards for Evidence and Moot Court, was a member of the Order of the Barristers, Captain of the Craven Moot Court Team, and Vice-President of the Law School Pro Bono Board.
After graduation, Stephanie returned home to Charleston, working in the civil litigation practice of Stuckey and Senn. Prior to her election to the bench, she worked for fourteen years with the law firm of Senn, McDonald & Leinbach, LLC, where her practice focused on civil litigation and a variety of appellate matters in state and federal courts. On February 2, 2011, she was elected by the General Assembly to the position of Circuit Judge, At-Large, Seat 9, to fill the unexpired term of the Honorable J. Michelle Childs.On May 28, 2014, she was elected by the General Assembly to the Court of Appeals, Seat 7, to fill the seat vacated upon the retirement of the Honorable Daniel F. Pieper.
Stephanie has been active with the Bar and in her community, serving as an attorney member of the South Carolina Commission on Judicial Conduct and an Attorney to Assist Disciplinary Counsel. She is a former President of the Junior League of Charleston, St. Philip’s Church Episcopal Church Women, and Charleston Lawyers Club. She has also served as a member of the City of Charleston’s Mayor’s Commission for Children, Youth and Families and a number of other local boards and commissions.
Stephanie’s proudest achievement is her daughter, Susanne, who enjoys singing, theatre, and playing the guitar. In her very first role, Susanne played “Scout” in the Charleston Stage production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”