"T" is for Toal, Jean Hoefer [b. 1943]

May 17, 2017

"T" is for Toal, Jean Hoefer [b. 1943]. Lawyer, jurist. After graduation from Agnes Scott College, Toal received her Juris Doctor degree from the USC School of Law. She was associated with the Haynsworth firm in Greenville and later as a partner with Belser Baker Barwick Toal and Bender in Columbia. With the Belser firm she gained considerable experience as a litigator in state and federal courts. In 1975 she began a thirteen-year career in the General Assembly and became the first woman to chair a standing committee in the House. In 1988 she was elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court—the first woman, the first Roman Catholic, and the first native Columbian—to serve on the bench. In 2000, Jean Hoefer Toal became the first female chief justice of the state of South Carolina.