W. Terry McBrayer

W. Terry McBrayer

Lexington, Kentucky

W. Terry McBrayer is the senior partner for the McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland law firm. He is a native of Greenup, Kentucky, and a graduate of Morehead State University and the University of Louisville School of Law. He has held numerous leadership positions in state government: Terry was an elected member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, serving in the leadership roles of House Speaker Pro Tempore and Majority Floor Leader during his tenure; and he also served as chief executive officer for a former governor. He has served as Chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, and is still heavily involved in the Party, recently being elected to his fourth consecutive four-year term as the Democratic National Committeeman from Kentucky and a superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Terry is past chairman of the State Capital Global Law Firm Group and was recently named the Outstanding Alumni of the University of Louisville School of Law.

Terry has served in numerous public service roles, including as a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, the Chandler Medical Center Board, eight years on the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, seven years as Chairman of Kentucky Education Television, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Commerce, Chairman of the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals, and Chairman of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce.

Areas of Practice

  • Government Relations
  • Administrative Law
  • Health Care Law
  • Gaming Law

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky, 1962
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
    • LL.B. - 1962
    • Honors: Omicron Delta Kappa
    • Honors: National Leadership Society
  • Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky
    • B.S. - 1959
    • Major: Business Administration

Honors and Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013
  • AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Inducted into Junior Achievement’s Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame, 2012
  • Voted Outstanding Alumnus by Morehead Alumni Association
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration, Morehead State University
  • Voted Outstanding Legislator in the Public Interest by the Capitol Press Corps.
  • Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Louisville School of Law
  • Delegate to NATO Conference, German, Belgium, France
  • John F. Kennedy Award for Outstanding Young Democrat
  • Majority Leader , 1970 - 1972
  • One of the Three Outstanding Young Men in Kentucky by Selected by the Kentucky Jaycees, 1969
  • Speaker Pro Tempore, 1968 - 1969

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Department of Commerce, Commissioner
  • Economic Development Commission, Member
  • Kentucky Development Finance Authority, Member
  • Kentucky Housing Corporation, Member
  • Kentucky Port and River Development Commission, Member
  • Kentucky Film Commission, Member
  • Kentucky Convention Center Advisory Board, Member
  • Labor-Management Advisory Council, Member
  • Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Past Chairman
  • Kentucky Department of Commerce, Commissioner, 1977 - 1978
  • State Capital Group, Past Chairman
  • Kentucky Supreme Court, Special Justice
  • House of Representatives, Member
  • Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals, Chairman, 1989 - Present
  • Directed Transition Team for Administration of Governor Julian M. Carroll
  • Governor Julian M. Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, 1975
  • Greenup County, State Representative, 1966 - 1975
  • Greenup County Bar Association
  • Boyd County Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Fayette County Bar Association, 1962 - Present
  • American Association for Justice
  • Greenup Jaycees, Past President
  • Greenup Lions Club, Past President

Past Employment Positions

  • Greenup County, Kentucky, Attorney, 1963 - 1975
  • U.S. Army, Kentucky National Guard, 1962 - 1968

Pro Bono Activities

  • Past President, Greenup Lions Club
  • Greenup Volunteer Fire Department
  • Chairman, Greenup County Boy Scouts
  • Chairman, Greenup County United Fund
  • Kentucky Fish, Game and Wildlife Club
  • Greenup Parent-Teachers' Organization
  • Greenup Merchants Association
  • East Greenup County Boys Club
  • Deacon, Greenup Christian Church
  • Greenup County Park Board
  • Greenup County Development Association and Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce
  • President, Morehead Alumni Association
  • State Government Chairman, United Way of the Bluegrass
  • Board of Directors, Bluegrass Association for Mental Retardation, Inc.
  • Board of Directors, Bluegrass Council of The Boys Scouts of America, 1977 - 1978
  • Deacon, Tates Creek Christian Church
  • Co-Chairman of The Fund Drive, Central Kentucky Blood Center
  • Board of Trustees, University of Kentucky, 1979 - Present
  • Vice Chairman, Kentucky Council on Higher Education
  • Past Chairman, Kentucky Educational Television
  • Chandler Medical Center Board
  • Salvation Army Board
  • Center on Aging
  • Past President, Young Democrats Club of Kentucky
  • Democratic State Central Executive Committee
  • Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1968 - 2008
  • Past Chairman, Kentucky Democratic Party
  • Democratic National Committeeman, 1988 - Present


  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon