Tommy Pope is a managing partner of Elrod Pope Law Firm in Rock Hill, South Carolina bringing an extensive litigation background of over 30 years of law enforcement and prosecution experience. From 1993-2006, Tommy served as Solicitor for the 16th Circuit (Union & York Counties, SC).
Under his guidance, the 16th Circuit consistently led the State in caseload management, providing effective and timely prosecution of criminal cases. He is most often recognized for his 1995 prosecution of Susan Smith in Union County, South Carolina, who made national headlines for the drowning deaths of her two children. Today, he is frequently called upon by various national and international media outlets to provide legal commentary on cases involving parents who kill their children.
Tommy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of South Carolina in 1984 and a Juris Doctorate from the School of Law in 1987. He also attended the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy where he graduated with honors.
In 1999, Tommy Pope received the Silver Compleat Lawyer Award from the University of South Carolina Law School Alumni Association, recognizing competence, integrity, ethics and superior performance in his profession. In 2008, Tommy was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, our state’s highest civilian honor for his dedication and service to the people of South Carolina.
Tommy currently volunteers as a mentor for the Supreme Court of South Carolina Lawyer Mentoring Program. He has also served as an instructor for the National College of District Attorneys at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina and also has lectured to State Prosecutors’ Associations across the country. Additionally, Tommy has been called upon by the South Carolina Chief Justice to serve on numerous committees regarding the administration of justice in our state.
Since 2010, Tommy has served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives for District 47. In December of 2014, he was selected by his peers as Speaker Pro Tempore. Prior to serving as Speaker Pro Tempore, Tommy served on several committees including Judiciary and Ethics, the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs committee, the House Republican Caucus Ethics Reform Study committee, and the House Republican Caucus Tax Study committee. Additionally, Tommy previously served as a House Republican Floor Leader.
Tommy was recognized in 2011 by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce as a recipient of their Business Advocate Award for commending key legislative votes on critical business issues. The American Legion of South Carolina named Tommy as their 2012 Legislator of the Year.
Tommy was also selected to the 2013 - 2016 South Carolina Super Lawyers lists. This prestigious honor is awarded to less than five percent of South Carolina lawyers. Selection is based on outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. He was also an honoree for the South Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Leadership in Law Award in March of 2014. In 2017, Tommy was recognized as one of the “Business Champions” in the S.C. House (Score of 100% on legislative report card).
J.D., University of South Carolina, 1987
Member, Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity
B.S., University of South Carolina School of Business, 1984
Honors Graduate, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, 1982
Rock Hill High School, 1980
Academic Letter, Football Letter, Boys State, Furman Scholar
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
South Carolina, 1988
Federal District Court
United States Supreme Court
Professional Association Memberships and Awards
South Carolina Bar Association
Member: since 1988
House of Delegates, Board of Governors
York Country Bar Association
South Carolina Solicitors Association
Member: since 1993
South Carolina Common Prosecution Coordination
South Carolina Association for Justice
Selected to the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 South Carolina Super Lawyers list
2014 South Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Leadership in Law Honoree
SC Bar Lawyer Legislator Committee Chair: 2014-current
Named 2014 Small Business Achiever by York County Regional Chamber of Commerce
Graduated Leadership South Carolina, April 2016
AV Rated - Martindale
- Speaker Pro Tempore, SC House of Representatives
- Member, SC House of Representatives – District 47
- Member, Judiciary Committee (2013-2014)
- Commission on Prosecution Coordination (2014-current)
- Member, Ethics Committee (2013-2014)
- Member, Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee (2011-12)
- Member, House Republican Caucus Ethics Reform Study Committee (2012-2014)
- Member, House Republican Caucus Tax Study Committee (Formerly)
- House Republican Floor Leader (Formerly)
- Winthrop University Board of Trustees, 2009–10
- Boys and Girls Club of York County, Chief Volunteer Officer (CVO), 2009
- York Technical College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee
- Former Member, South Carolina Board of Education Volunteer Awards Program Selection Committee
- Ambassador to City of Rock Hill’s community program: #1 Question: Is it Good for the Children?
- Member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill; Actively involved in Elevation Church in Rock Hill
- July 22, 1994 married Kimberly Greenwood, 4 children: Logan, Jacob, Preston and Kaylen