Jeff Yarbro grew up in Dyersburg – a small town in northwest Tennessee. His dad was a farmer and his mom was a sexual abuse investigator for the state. He attended Dyersburg public schools, graduating in 1995. Along with federal student loans and grants, help from his parents, Jeff worked as many as three jobs at a time to pay for college at Harvard University. He graduated with honors in 1999 with a degree in Government. After college, he worked for Al Gore’s presidential campaign from the announcement in June of 1999 through the end of the Florida recount. He attended law school at the University of Virginia, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review.
After law school, Yarbro and his wife Tyler settled in Nashville. Tyler, who grew up in Birmingham and also went to UVA law, worked as a Metro Assistant Public Defender for seven years before entering private practice. After a clerkship with a federal judge, Yarbro has worked as a lawyer at Bass, Berry & Sims, where his practice focuses on civil and appellate litigation, consumer financial services, constitutional law, and public contracts. He has represented Tennessee businesses, non-profits, and individuals in state and federal courts.
Yarbro has consistently devoted over 20% of his time as a lawyer to working on behalf of clients that cannot afford legal representation. Shortly after joining the firm, Yarbro was assigned to represent an inmate on Tennessee’s death row, work that contributed to recognition by the bar for the firm’s outstanding service to the indigent. He has represented a number of tenants in eviction disputes with landlords, as well as individuals who have had property seized without proper notice. He helped organize the firm’s formal pro bono program, which has successfully implemented a number of policy changes to foster greater firm-wide participation in this service.
Over the last decade, Yarbro has spent over 1000 hours volunteering in Nashville public schools, where he has shown a commitment to expanding student opportunities and an ability to work constructively with public school educators, non-profits, businesses, philanthropies, parents, volunteers, and students. He began his volunteer work through the Pencil Partner program in Antioch Middle School, tutoring students struggling with math. Since 2006, he has worked with principals, teachers, and administrators to expand the involvement of businesses and community organizations in our high schools, primarily through the Academies of Nashville. In 2010, he was recognized by the Pencil Foundation as an MNPS Volunteer of the Year. He has served for the last two years as the co-chair of Superintendent Register’s Transformational Leadership Group for high schools. In addition, he served as an education advisor to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean from 2007 to 2009 and is one of the founding board members for East End Prep, a charter elementary school in East Nashville.
For the last five years, Yarbro has served on the board of Nashville’s Metro Transit Authority, where he has chaired both the Finance committee and the East-West Connector committee. He was recently selected as the Chair of the MTA board. He’s also been a disaster response volunteer for the Nashville Red Cross, a Stewardship Chair and Sunday School teacher at Christ Church Cathedral, and a volunteer for St. Luke’s Community House. He is the co-founder of Nashville’s Kitchen Cabinet and serves as co-chair for the Conexion Americas capital campaign for the Casa Azafran community center.
Jeff and Tyler live in Sylvan Park with Jack, their four-year-old son. Jack is lots of fun, doesn’t sleep enough, and is Pekka Rinne’s biggest fan.