BOAZ, Ala. – Snead State Community College alumna and attorney Jennifer Roden was recently named partner at Craige & Fox PLLC in Wilmington, N.C.
Roden, a native of Albertville, Ala., has practiced law for approximately 10 years now. She is a Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation and a Board-Certified Elder Law Attorney through the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.
In her role, Roden handles such cases as estate planning, long term care planning and Medicaid, Guardianship matters, special needs planning and fiduciary litigation matters.
“I knew from a young age that I wanted to enter a career field that allowed me to help people,” Roden said. “Being a lawyer gives me the opportunity to help others. Nothing brings me more professional joy than helping a family through a legal process like estate planning or long-term care planning.”
Roden also serves as the Secretary for the Elder and Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar and will serve as Vice Chair next year. She is also currently the Secretary for the NC Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and will serve as Treasurer next year.
Her time spent at Snead State, prior to transferring to the University of Alabama and attending its School of Law, helped pave the way to a successful career, Roden said.
“I was incredibly grateful for the scholarships that I received that allowed me to attend Snead with tuition covered,” she said. “I was able to continue to live at home and save money for UA.
“I also appreciated that all of the staff, professors, teachers, etc., were always available. I never had to beg for help or feel ignored when I needed assistance. It was easy to plug into clubs/programs/social groups. It was easy to make friends and feel supported.”
From 2005-2007, Roden was a member of the Snead State Dance Team and the Snead State Street Singers. She also served as an Ambassador and was a part of the Student Government Association. In addition, Roden was a tutor for the TRIO and Upward Bound programs. As a sophomore, she was voted Homecoming Queen.
“My time at Snead also helped me figure out how to balance work, clubs/programs, and my classes without the fear of not having my support network at home,” she said. “My time at Snead also helped me build more confidence in my ability to handle more challenging coursework than high school.”
Roden was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA that transferred with her to UA, and having that high of a GPA helped her get accepted into the university’s School of Law.
Particular classes and being part of various clubs helped Roden build leadership skills that translated to her career pathway.
“Classes like my political science classes and my speech classes with Mr. Johnny Brewer helped me build up more confidence to debate and speak in front of groups,” she said. “My time in the clubs and programs gave me the opportunity to learn leadership skills with groups of peers that were my friends and not strangers. I took away valuable lessons on how to lead and engage with empathy, passion, and encouragement.”
To graduating high school seniors, Roden said there were numerous reasons why they should strongly consider attending Snead State before leaping toward a four-year university.
“Seriously consider the financial impact of taking on debt to attend a four-year university right away,” she said. “Snead offers the same level (and in some subject areas) a higher level of education than would be offered at a university. At Snead, your class sizes will be smaller, there are more opportunities for assistance and guidance from your teachers outside of the classroom, and it’s much easier to plug into clubs and programs. You will have the opportunity to build an educational foundation that if you choose to transfer to a university, you will likely be more prepared to handle the work load and keep your grades up. If a four-year university isn’t for you, Snead offers education for amazing career paths that will be fulfilling and allow you to pursue your goals and wishes both professionally and personally.”
In 2007, Roden graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Political Science. She then moved on to UA, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Business in 2009. Shortly after, Roden enrolled in the School of Law, graduating in 2012 with her Juris Doctor and Certificate of Public Interest Law.
After graduation, Roden received a Fellowship from the Borchard Foundation on Law and Aging, and she worked as a staff attorney for the Elder Law Clinic of the UA School of Law from 2013 to 2014. She then moved to Wilmington in 2014 and joined her current firm, Craige & Fox, PLLC.
Roden and her husband, Will, also an Albertville native, have two children, Raylan (4) and Mary (2). In addition to her professional career, Roden serves as the Traditional Music Director of the family’s church Harbor United Methodist Church. She is also co-author of a book called “Alabama Elder Law (Alabama Practice Series).”