Tommy Preston, Jr. is an associate in the firm’s Public Policy and Governmental Relations and Economic Development groups. Tommy regularly represents businesses and professionals on legislative and regulatory matters before governmental entities and administrative courts.
Mr. Preston is from Clemson, SC. Much to the dismay of his family of Tiger fans, he decided to attend the University of South Carolina. He graduated cum laude with a degree in Political Science and History and earned his Juris Doctor from the USC School of Law. As an undergraduate, he served as Student Body President, was the student member on the University’s Board of Trustees, and served as a student advisor for the US Department of Education. Mr. Preston is the recipient of the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the highest honor awarded to a USC student.
Upon graduating from undergraduate school, he accepted a position as the Special Assistant to the President for Government and Community Relations at USC. In this position, Mr. Preston served as a university liaison to local, state, and national governments and developed and monitored the university’s various partnerships in the community and across the state. He served in this position until he graduated from law school.
While in law school, he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity and the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court. He is the co-founder of the USC Law Student Ambassador program. He also served as the Law Student Representative on the American Bar Association Board of Governors. He was the first African American to serve in this national position. Also while in law school, Mr. Preston was a clerk for Nexsen Pruet’s Public Policy and Governmental Affairs and Alternative Energy teams.
He and his wife, Felicia, whom he met in law school, reside in Columbia and are members of Midtown Fellowship. In their free time, they enjoy traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Mr. Preston is the founder of Cocky’s Reading Express (CRE), a statewide literacy initiative that provides books to thousands of children in South Carolina. The program has received the financial support of a number of companies and foundations, including the Barbara Bush Literacy Fund, BP America, Verizon, and Bi-Lo. CRE has been recognized by the American Association of School Librarians and the South Carolina International Reading Association. Additionally, ESPNU featured CRE on its SEC Weekly show. Mr. Preston was awarded the South Carolina Literacy Leader Award for his contributions to improving literacy in the state.
Mr. Preston remains active at his alma mater, serving on the Alumni Association Board of Governors, the President’s Community Advisory Committee, and the College of Arts & Sciences Board of Visitors. He is also the Vice Chair of the University’s Board of Visitors.
He continues to remain active in the ABA , currently as a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Membership and as Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Division Law Student Outreach Committee. In February, he authored "How Young Lawyers Can Help Save Our Courts" for the ABA Young Lawyers Division.
He is also the Young Lawyer Representative on the ABA’s Task Force on the Preservation of the Judicial System, which is chaired by Ted Olson and David Boies, and is responsible for evaluating the problems with state court funding around the country.
Mr. Preston participates in the SC Bar, currently serving on the Law Related Education Committee and Member Involvement Task Force, and as a judge for middle and high school Mock Trial competitions.
Committed to building young leaders, Mr. Preston volunteers with the SC Association of Student Councils, a statewide leadership organization consisting of middle and high school student councils. Mr. Preston attributes this organization for preparing him to be a leader.
Mr. Preston also serves as the national President-elect of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association. The Scholarship program was established in 1999 through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Preston represents almost 10,000 alumni who have received the scholarship since its inception.
- University of South Carolina Student Body President
- President Bush’s Student Service Award
- South Carolina Literacy Leader Award
- Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
- Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship Recipient
- Nexsen Pruet Hosts "Color of Justice" Program
On Saturday April 27th, the SC Bar Young Lawyers Division held its "Color of Justice" program at Nexsen Pruet's Columbia office.
- "Nexsen Pruet creates communications subsidiary"
On April 15th, The Columbia Regional Business Report featured "Nexsen Pruet creates communications subsidiary" in its "Morning Report" e-news blast.
- Nexsen Pruet Law Firm Launches NP Strategy; Director says clients often need more than legal advice
Nexsen Pruet, a law firm with more than 190 attorneys in eight Carolina offices, has formed NP Strategy. The wholly-owned communications subsidiary is comprised of a veteran group of professionals from media, public policy, public relations and business.
- "Tommy Preston, '07, '11: Champion for South Carolina"
Tommy Preston is profiled for the September edition of MyCarolina Alumni Association's Member Profile.
- Gates Foundation Group Tabs Nexsen Pruet Attorney; Tommy Preston to Lead Millennium Scholars Alumni Association
Nexsen Pruet attorney Tommy Preston is the new President-Elect of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association. The association is comprised of graduates who were awarded college scholarships paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- "BP gift gives Cocky’s Reading Express its own set of wheels"
Nexsen Pruet attorney Tommy Preston founded Cocky’s Reading Express (CRE), a statewide literacy initiative that provides books to thousands of children in South Carolina, while student body treasurer at the University of South Carolina.
- Despite Sluggish Economy, Nexsen Pruet Hires 17 Lawyers in 2011
In 2011, Nexsen Pruet has hired seventeen attorneys in its North and South Carolina offices.
- "Law Students Get Voice on ABA Board of Governors"
Tommy Preston speaks to ABA Now about helping give the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association a vote.
- "Cocky’s Reading Express (CRE) was recently featured on national TV!"
ESPNU highlights Cocky's Reading Express (CRE), a program at the University of South Carolina. Nexsen Pruet attorney Tommy Preston was USC Student Body Treasurer when he created it in 2005.
- University of South Carolina, B.A., cum laude, 2007
- University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2011
Bar & Court Admissions
Civic & Professional Memberships
- American Bar Association
- South Carolina Bar - Law Related Education Committee and Member Involvement Task Force
- ABA Task Force on the Preservation of the Judicial System - Young Lawyer Representative
- ABA Standing Committee on Membership – Member
- ABA Young Lawyers Division Law Student Outreach Committee – Co-Chair
- Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association - Vice President
- USC Board of Visitors - Vice Chair
- USC Alumni Association Board of Governors - Board Member
- USC President’s Community Advisory Committee - Committee Member
- Sistercare, Inc. – Board Member
- City of Columbia Citizen’s Advisory Committee – Past Committee Member