Judge Robert N. Jenkins, Sr. was born on August 8, 1947 to Shepherd Jenkins, and the Rev. Elouise "Nancy" Jenkins , of McClellanville, South Carolina.
He attended Lincoln High School and graduated Cum Laude from Burke High School in Charleston, SC in 1964. After service to his country for four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Viet Nam-era, he entered the Citadel, Military College of South Carolina in 1969 as a full-time veteran student. He would eventually become the fourth African American to receive an undergraduate degree from that institution, graduating in 1972 with a B.A. degree in Political Science. He would later serve that institution on its Board of Visitors, representing State Superintendent of Education, Barbara Neilsen from 1991-1996. He received his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1975 and began his career as a lawyer for the poor in 1976.
From 1976 through 1979, he worked as a staff attorney for the Charleston-based legal aid office. During this period he served a heavy client caseload and practiced law in the Circuit and Family Courts of Charleston, Berkeley and Williamsburg counties, while at the same time, pioneering the coordination of the expansion of local based legal aid offices for the counties of Marion, Horry, Williamsburg, Georgetown, Dorchester, Colleton, Berkeley, Jasper and Beaufort counties. From 1979 through 1996, he served as the Director and Chief Attorney for the Greenville-based legal aid office, later known as Legal Services Agency of Western Carolina, Inc. In that position he would pioneer the expansion of local based legal aid offices for Pickens, Anderson, Abbeville, Oconee, Greenwood, McCormick, and Edgefield. counties. While in his director position for Legal Services Agency of Western Carolina, Inc. he also pioneered the establishment of a program named "Libra Society" to enable private lawyers to give free, pro bono legal services to poor people who could not be helped through the legal aid offices.
Judge Jenkins is a member of the South Carolina Bar, Greenville County Bar, American Bar Association and National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges. He is admitted to practice in all South Carolina courts, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court. With a passion for public service, he has served his community in other capacities through the following organizations: Greenville's Child, Inc., Greenville Chamber of Commerce, S.H.A.R.E., Inc., Save Our Sons, S.C. Families for Kids, Neighborhoods in Action and Allen Temple A.M.E. Church. He is married to the former Margaret Rivers of McClellanville, SC. He and his wife have two sons, Robert N. Jenkins, Jr. and Jason Matthew Jenkins.
Throughout his career he has given life to meaning of "equal justice under law" through his advocacy and leadership role in Legal Aid Programs for those without means of access to our judicial system in South Carolina. His personal vision for his life is to "Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God", Micah 6:8.
In 1996, the General Assembly of The State of South Carolina elected Attorney Robert N. Jenkins, Sr. to Judge of The Circuit Family Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Seat #5 where he continues to give service to equal justice under law to all South Carolina citizens.
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