When we don’t place limitations or labels on who or what we must become by a certain age, we have the power to compose the most profound chapters in the stories of our lives.
The Next Chapter is a dynamic offering of stories, anecdotes, and messages of empowerment, proving that life after the age of sixty can be vigorously fulfilling and rewarding.
An insightful read and fresh perspective rendered from Attorney and wife of Motown music legend, and Founder of The Commodores, Thomas McClary. Through an honest offering and her candid wit, Beryl McClary will leave you inspired to ask the question: What do I desire to accomplish in the next chapter of my
With a legal career spanning more than 25 years, Beryl Thompson-McClary’s success as a trial attorney can be attributed to three uncommon, dynamic, yet essential features: hard work, a sharp mind, and grit. These characteristics shape her approach to every aspect of life — whether it’s being a wife or mother to seven children. She is one of the leading Family Law high net worth cases and criminal attorneys in Central Florida. All it takes is a single meeting to know Beryl Thompson-McClary is a woman of authentic determination to excel and makes it her life mission to make sure others around her achieve their potential too.
Thompson-McClary grew up in Leesburg, Florida, a small agricultural town outside of Orlando, in the midst of the Jim Crow South. She was the youngest daughter of a black business owner in the citrus industry and an insurance agent with one of the first black-owned companies. She learned from her parents that hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it is a necessary requirement to achieve it. And work hard she did. She went on to enroll at the University of Florida on a full-ride scholarship, where she graduated with honors and excelled in intercultural and international relations. Immediately after, she became a JD candidate at the University of Florida, earning her degree as one of the few pioneering black women in the class.
Thompson-McClary has a tough, fighter’s spirit, a spirit she brings to each case, ensuring her clients always receive the personalized plan and attention to detail they deserve.
Thompson-McClary spent many years at one of the largest law firms in Orlando, but after the firm’s rising reputation of racism, Thompson-McClary felt the need to connect with her clients more deeply and embarked on a journey of her own. She decided to start her own private firm in 1985, where she specializes in complex family, criminal and probate litigation. Thompson-McClary’s track record in her practice has been outstanding. She practices in the federal Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals as well as state and local government. She successfully obtained the release of a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment at 18 years of age after serving nearly 30 years. She also successfully halted the acquisition and building of an expansion by a hospital corporation over historical roads and properties owned by African American residents.
But it’s not all gavels and juries when it comes to Beryl Thompson-McClary. As the wife and career manager of the founder and lead guitarist of The Commodores, Thompson-McClary enjoys attending music festivals, concerts, and shows with her husband. She is also an author. Her new book The Next Chapter (October 2019) was written to encourage people to perform, dream, and believe beyond their expectations and to never let your age deter you from achieving excellence. Recently, Thompson-McClary and her husband Thomas became empty-nesters. When Thompson-McClary isn’t advising and fighting for her clients, she’s visiting one of her seven adult children in Nashville or New York.