Judge Kristi Lea Harrington was born to Carter and Jane Harrington.
Judge Harrington received her B.A. in English from Francis Marion University in 1991 and earned her J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1996. She was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma in 1996, in the State of South Carolina in 2001 and in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in 2004.
She began her legal career with a limited license to practice law in 1994 as an intern in the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. In 2000, Judge Harrington returned to South Carolina and while studying for the bar, she worked in her father's law office. Judge Harrington was employed by the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office from 2002 until her election to the Bench.
Judge Harrington was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly on February 6, 2008, to the position of Resident Circuit Judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, filling the unexpired term of Judge Daniel F. Pieper who was elevated to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Judge Harrington has been honored to serve as a past member of the Children’s Justice Task Force, South Carolina Bar House of Delegates, and a former Chair of the Bar’s Cinderella Project. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Limestone College, teaching Business Law and Criminal Law. She is a member of the Berkeley and Charleston Bar Associations. Her volunteer activities include Roscoe Reading Program, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Trident Literacy Association. She has served on the Berkeley County Aeronautics Commission and on the District PTA Board for Berkeley County.
Judge Harrington resides in Hanahan and has one child. She is working on completing the hours required for her pilot's license. In her free time she enjoys sports with her child, knitting, and reading.