Clay Hodges was born and raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990, and wrote his undergraduate honors thesis on the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education school desegregation case. After graduating from college, Mr. Hodges spent a year teaching English, bartending, and waiting tables in Europe. He returned to the United States, lived on a houseboat, wrote a novel, earned a masters degree in English literature, and taught for three years at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
In 2000, Mr. Hodges graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he won the Gressman-Pollitt Award for Excellence in Oral Advocacy, as well as Best Overall in the Holderness Moot Court Invitational Team Competition. Following a two-year judicial clerkship with Judge John C. Martin, now Chief Judge, at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Mr. Hodges joined the law firm of Tharrington Smith. While at Tharrington Smith he represented school boards in complex litigation in state and federal court; he also gave presentations to school officials on the Fair Labor Standards Act and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act.
Mr. Hodges joined Harris & Winfield, LLP in 2004 to focus his practice on civil litigation. He represents clients in complex business litigation, tort claims, wage and hour disputes, and serious personal injury. He became a partner in the firm in 2006.
In 2010, Mr. Hodges was designated a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in the area of general litigation.
Mr. Hodges is a member of the 2003-2005 class of the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations. Mr. Hodges has taught law in the graduate studies program at Meredith College. He served as Chair of the Wake County Schools’ Superintendent’s Parents Advisory Council in 2009-2010. He has been a volunteer at the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen for ten years.
Mr. Hodges is married to Kelly Hartness Hodges, and they have two children, James and Olivia. James recently served as defense counsel for the Big Bad Wolf and obtained an acquittal on charges of the murder of two little pigs.