Judge Gerald C. Smoak, Jr. was born in Walterboro, South Carolina on July 25, 1959. His parents are The Honorable Gerald C. Smoak, Sr., and Joette Smoak Haven. He is married to the former Elizabeth Thompson of Summerville, South Carolina. He and his wife have two children, Gerald C. Smoak, III (Clay), and Caleigh Elizabeth Smoak.
He graduated in 1977 from John C. Calhoun Academy, now Colleton Prep Academy in Walterboro, South Carolina. He received his bachelor's degree in 1980 from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. While at USC, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated from USC School of Law in 1983 with his juris doctorate degree. He was a member of the Moot Court Bar while in law school.
After law school, he was the law clerk to the Honorable William T. Howell from 1983 to 1984. He then went into private practice from 1984 to 1995. He also served as the Public Defender for the City of Walterboro from 1985 to 1995, The Fourteenth Circuit assistant Solicitor for prosecuting DSS Child Abuse and Neglect cases, 1984 to 1993, and 1994 - 1995, Part-time Public Defender for Colleton County for conflict cases 1993 to 1995, and Part-time teacher for the Technical College of the Lowcountry paralegal courses from 1986 to 1994. He was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly to the position of Family Court Judge, Seat #1 for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit and took office July 1, 1995 where he has served continuously since.
Currently he is a member of the South Carolina Bar and the Colleton County Bar. He was admitted to practice law in all of South Carolina State Courts and the United States District Court.
He is a member of the Bethel United Methodist Church located in Walterboro, South Carolina. He is a former member of Sertoma and Jaycees. He is a die-hard Gamecock . . . as tough as it is sometimes.