Justice Donald W. “Don” Beatty is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He attended public schools in Spartanburg County and is a cum laude graduate of South Carolina State University. After his active duty military service as a commissioned officer, Justice Beatty continued his education and earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University Of South Carolina School Of Law, Columbia, South Carolina.
Admitted to the practice of law in South Carolina in 1979, Justice Beatty began his legal career by working for the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program, thus fulfilling a personal commitment to use his legal training to benefit those who could not afford paid legal representation. Following his tenure with the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program, he established a private practice in his home town, Spartanburg, South Carolina. During this time, Justice Beatty maintained a commitment to public service with his election to Spartanburg City Council, later moving to the state level with his election to the South Carolina House of Representatives. His dedication to his community led to his service on the Piedmont Legal Services Board of Directors, Spartanburg Residential Development Corporation, Southside Neighborhoods Association Partnership, Boys and Girls Club, BB&T Advisory Board, BMW minority Advisory Board/BMW Construction Project, the Commission On Continuing Legal Education, Access To Justice Commission, the Sentencing Reform Commission and many community organizations intent on uplifting our community. Justice Beatty also finds time to appear at various schools and often speaks to youth groups.
Justice Beatty has received numerous awards for community service and leadership; among them are, Profile in Leadership Award, Honorary Doctor of Laws, Living Legend Award, Superior Achievement Award from the Donald James Sampson Chapter of the National Bar Association, and the Vision Award from the South Carolina Business Network.
During his tenure in the South Carolina General Assembly he served as a member of The House of Representatives Ethics Committee, the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee. In addition, he served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman-elect of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.
After five years of distinguished service in the South Carolina General Assembly, he was elected to the Circuit Court in 1995 where he served as a trial judge until he was elevated to the Court of Appeals in 2003. In 2007, Justice Beatty was elected as an Associate Justice for the South Carolina Supreme Court.
In May 2016, Justice Beatty was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly to become the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Carolina. He began serving as Chief Justice on January 1, 2017.