Paul R. Thurmond was born in Greenwood, S.C., the youngest son of Senator Strom Thurmond and Nancy Moore Thurmond. A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Paul Thurmond graduated from Aiken High School and earned an athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, Thurmond was a four year letterman on the tennis team, achieving national ranking and serving as team captain his senior year. Every year eligible, Thurmond also received Academic All-SEC honors.
Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, Thurmond worked in Washington, D.C. for Republican Senator Fred Thompson on the Governmental Affairs Committee, the watchdog group for all federal government programs. Upon returning to South Carolina, Thurmond worked on the House Judiciary Committee under Chairman Jim Harrison and was appointed head law clerk.
Thurmond received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and was elected Chairman of the Honor Council by his peers while in law school. Upon graduation, Thurmond worked for three years as an Assistance Solicitor in Charleston County, prosecuting violent gun crimes. During that time he handled more than 1,300 criminal indictments, ranging from minor infractions to murder. Mr. Thurmond has successfully handled numerous trials, leaving the Solicitor’s Office with a 92 percent conviction rate.
In August of 2005, Mr. Thurmond joined long-time friends Jesse Kirchner and Michael Timbes in forming the law firm of Thurmond Kirchner & Timbes, P.A. located in the historic district of downtown Charleston.
Mr. Thurmond, who handles both criminal and civil matters, has previously led the firm’s criminal defense practice and has successfully defended large drug crime cases, federal white-collar crime cases, and murder cases, in addition to numerous other criminal offenses.
From 2005 to 2006, he served as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston, where he taught Mock Trial.
In November 2006, Mr. Thurmond was elected by nearly 60 percent of the vote to Charleston County Council. He was elected Vice-Chairman in 2009. He represented approximately 35,000 constituents in Charleston County.
In December of 2010, Mr. Thurmond accepted the job as a part-time prosecutor for the city of North Charleston, handling predominantly DUI cases. This work gives him the unique opportunity to review hundreds of DUI cases along with continuing to hone his trial skills. During his time as a municipal prosecutor Mr. Thurmond tried numerous cases and disposed of nearly 800 DUI’s. Mr. Thurmond also assists the City of North Charleston Police Department as an instructor for DUI arrest procedures.
After running the most competitive race for State Senate in South Carolina, Paul was elected as a State Senator representing District 41 in November 2012. He represented over 100,000 constituents covering both Charleston and parts of Dorchester County. He served until November 2016 at which time he decided to focus exclusively on his law practice and family and chose not to seek re-election.
He and his wife, Katie England Thurmond, of Walhalla, South Carolina, live in Mount Pleasant, SC and have three sons and two daughters.