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S. M. Kernodle-Hodges
Executive Director

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S. M. Kernodle-Hodges is responsible for the development and implementation of comprehensive strategic plans that align with the organization's core mission. These plans are not just blueprints for action but a roadmap toward significant legal system transformation in North Carolina.

An essential aspect of her role involves coordinating with a diverse array of stakeholders. This includes legal professionals, policymakers, community leaders, and the beneficiaries of the organization's work. Through these collaborations, she ensures that JFAP's initiatives are comprehensive, inclusive, and representative of the needs of those they aim to serve.

Work Beyond JFAP

Legal Project Manager at Tolliver, Richardson & Kernodle, LLC, and the Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission's Legal Support Center in Wake County. The LSC was founded in January 2023 to provide legal assistance to the community. Kernodle serves the citizens of Wake County every day at the Wake County Courthouse and derives great joy from helping people navigate their legal problems. 

Her educational background includes an A.S. in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration from Patrick Henry Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology/Criminal Justice from Averett University, and a graduate certificate from Duke University's Law Studies Paralegal Program.

With over ten years as a criminal justice official, Kernodle-Hodges brings valuable insights to her field, including her knowledge of trauma-informed care. She also holds certifications as a North Carolina Certified Municipal Clerk, Superior and Federal Court Mediator, and Victim Services Practitioner.

Dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, she graduated from the University of South Florida's DEI program. In 2023, she received the Outstanding Paralegal Pro Bono Service Award, the Golden Limine WCBA Award, and the Raleigh Mayor's Lockhart Follin-Mace Award.

Kernodle-Hodges serves as a Guardian ad Litem in Wake County and holds multiple leadership positions. She is the Co-Chair of the Utilization Committee for the North Carolina Bar Association's Paralegal Division and a Board Member of the North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification. Additionally, she has previously served as the Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee in the same division.

More information is available on her LinkedIn profile.

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