Daniel Coble ’09 

In his senior year at Clemson, Daniel Coble joined student government as a member of a small but influential advisory group called the Judicial Education Committee. Their efforts laid the foundation for a judiciary within the University organization, but more notably, the work provided the perfect blend of Coble’s two primary interests — public service and the law.

The pursuit of both continues to reward Coble: On February 2, 2022, the South Carolina General Assembly elected Coble to serve a six-year term as judge of the 5th Circuit, which includes Richland and Kershaw counties. At 35 years old, he is one of the youngest state judges ever elected in South Carolina, and he will fill the seat of retiring 5th Circuit Judge Casey Manning in 2023.

“Growing up, I saw how important public service is, and seeing it up close like that, it was something I always wanted to do,” says Coble. His father, Bob Coble, was mayor of capital city Columbia for two decades, and his grandfather and namesake, Daniel R. McLeod, served as South Carolina attorney general for nearly a quarter-century.

After graduating from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in 2009 and a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2012, he served as an assistant solicitor before becoming a Richland County magistrate judge for nearly four years. In 2021, he opened his law practice in the Columbia area, The Coble Law Group.

“I’ve been so fortunate to have mentors who have experienced and done so much. Relying on them reminds me to constantly know and appreciate that there is so much to learn,” Coble says. “And those relationships and mentorships started when I was at Clemson.”

The 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office tries and prosecutes criminal cases in Richland and Kershaw counties. Manning has held the position since 1994 and is widely respected in the South Carolina legal community. Coble says he had the fortune of practicing in front of him as a prosecutor, describing it as “one of the most humbling experiences in my career.”

Manning harbors fond memories of Coble’s father and grandfather, and he remembers when Coble started with the solicitor’s office.

“He works hard. He’s very honest, and he has all the integrity in the world,” Manning says, adding that he was delighted to learn that, like him, Coble has three brothers and two sisters, was the fifth of six children, and now he’s serving the 5th Circuit.

“I never will fill Judge Manning’s shoes,” Coble says, humbled by the support he’s received. “He is brilliant, charismatic, and he is the epitome of how to be a great judge. The fortunate thing is I will be able to call on him when I need him, and I consider him a mentor and a friend.”

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