Judge Lawrence McSwain served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division from 1963 to 1966. Upon finishing active duty he returned to school and graduated from Compact High School in Kings Mountain, NC in May of 1966, and enrolled at NC A&T State University. He received his BA in Political Science in 1970, and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the North Carolina Central School of Law. After passing the Bar Exam in 1979, he started out as an Assistant District Attorney, then in 1986 he was appointed as a District Court Judge in the 18th District of Guilford County. From 1997 to 2002 he served as Chief District Court Judge for the 18th District, where he manage the court system, assigned judges to courts, and ensured that the court system operated in an efficient and fair manner. He retired from the District Court in 2008, but has remained an active member of the community. He still serves as an Emergency District Court Judge as called upon; mentors young men at The Academy at Smith; and speaks on African American History, Black’s Participation in the American Military, and the Buffalo Soldiers. In 2009 he participated in the induction ceremonies of William McBryar, Buffalo Soldier and Metal of Honor recipient during the Plains Indians War (1866 – 1890) at the Army War College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.