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 and 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 works as a lawyer at Bass, Berry & Sims, where his practice focuses on civil and appellate litigation, consumer financial services, constitutional law, and government contracts. He has represented businesses, non-profits, and individuals in state and federal courts. Yarbro has consistently devoted over 10% of his time as a lawyer to working on behalf of clients that cannot afford legal representation and 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 served as the co-chair of the superintendent’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. In 2010, he was recognized by the Pencil Foundation as an MNPS Volunteer of the Year.
From 2009-14, Yarbro served on the board of Nashville’s Metro Transit Authority, where he chaired the Finance committee, the East-West Connector committee, and the full 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 served as co-chair for the Conexion Americas capital campaign for the Casa Azafran community center.
Elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2014, Yarbro represents over 200,000 Nashvillians in the legislature. In his first term, Yarbro was elected Chair of the Senate’s Democratic Caucus. In the 109th General Assembly (2015-16), Yarbro was the prime sponsor of over 25 bills passed by the legislature and signed into law. His legislation on behalf of Tennesseans has focused on a wide range of issues including affordable housing, public transportation, health care access, criminal justice, open data, election reform, and the environment. He has also been a leader in the ongoing, bipartisan effort to expand Tennessee’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
Jeff and Tyler live in the Sylvan Park neighborhood of Nashville with their children, Jack and Kate.
Here is a link to his legislative website, where you can view all of his proposed legislation.