University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2002
Journal of Constitutional Law, Comment Editor;
Wapner-Newman & Wigrizer Award (Most Potential as a Trial Lawyer)
William Haste Award (Leadership in UPENN Community)
Spelman College, B.A., 1999
magna cum laude;
DeWitt Wallace Full Tuition Scholar
University of London, London, England, 1997
District of Columbia
United States Supreme Court
Georgia Supreme Court
Georgia Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
PRO HAC VICE
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
Southern District of Florida
Lawanda Nowlin Hodges, Esq. is the managing partner of The Law Firm of Lawanda Hodges, LLC, a white collar and high-stakes criminal defense firm. She practices in both federal and state courts and is one of the few attorneys in Georgia who has Top Secret Security (SCI) Clearance with the United States Department of Justice.
As a former prosecutor, Lawanda has over a decade of experience prosecuting major felonies, ranging from public corruption to homicide. As a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit, Lawanda prosecuted some of the most heinous crimes, earning her numerous awards including, but not limited to, Attorney of the Year and The Lewis Slaton Award (awarded to the highest achieving prosecutor in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit).
As lead counsel in over 50 felony jury trials, Lawanda is a seasoned trial attorney. She has handled sophisticated criminal matters that required jury pools of over 200 jurors and jury questionnaires due to their complexities. She has successfully prosecuted and assisted in the investigation of over 500 felony matters, interviewing and assessing hundreds of witnesses. Lawanda understands all stages of a criminal investigation, as she has directly orchestrated legal search warrants and presented dozens of matters before the grand jury, including those involving public officials. Such vast experience caused Lawanda to be selected on the Criminal Justice Act Panel, a group of attorneys deemed eligible for appointment by the Court to represent indigent individuals in federal criminal cases.
As a former Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney of public integrity and white collar units, Lawanda also directly supervised and managed large-scale white collar and public corruption investigations that took several months (and in some cases, years) to investigate. In this role, she managed parallel and multi-agency investigations, involving agencies such as the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Lawanda is also accomplished in handling complex corporate matters concerning major corporations. She worked as an associate for the international firm, King & Spalding, LLP and was a senior business/commercial litigator at Ashe, Rafuse & Hill (now Polsinelli). The combination of her civil and criminal litigation experience makes her especially capable to handle complex cases needing the seasoned trial advocacy abilities of a prosecutor and the business acumen of a corporate litigator.
Lawanda is active in the legal community. She is a member of many bar associations, including the Women’s White Collar Criminal Defense Association, the National Bar Association (NBA), the Federal Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Lawanda has been recognized as one of NBA’s Top 40 Under 40, The Network Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, and America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys.
In her time away from the law, she enjoys coaching Spelman College’s Mock Trial Team and spending quality time with her husband and three sons.
- Law and Justice Award 2018 “Woman of the Year”
- America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers.
- Top Secret Security Clearance for the United States Department of Justice.
- Top 40 Under 40, The Network Journal Magazine.
- Top 40 Under 40, National Bar Association.
- Criminal Justice Act Panel (for federally appointed cases)
- Special Unit of the Year 2013 (given to the Public Integrity Unit, under the leadership of Attorney Hodges, by the DeKalb County District Attorney for outstanding performance in 2013).
- Attorney of the Year 2010 (Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Atlanta Judicial Circuit).
- Lewis Slaton Highest Achievement Award 2007 (for the highest performing prosecutor in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit).
- Clock Award, 2009 (20 minute verdict in a high-profile homicide case in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit).
- Clock Award, 2008 (10 minute verdict in a high-profile, double homicide case in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit).
- Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Association.
- Certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
- Certified by the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.
- E-discovery, Panelist, American Bar Association’s National White Collar Institute 2017, San Diego, CA (panel discussed the complexities of electronic discovery in the criminal process).
- Unconscious Bias, Co-presenter, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
- Unconscious Bias, Co-presenter, Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office.
- State Bar of Georgia
- District of Columbia Bar
- Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys
- Spelman College Mock Trial Coach
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
- American Bar Association
- Clemency Project 2014
- National Bar Association
- Minority Trial Attorney Committee Member, American Bar Association
- National Trial Lawyers Association
- Women White Collar Crime Association
- Co-counsel of lawyer accused of bribing a state legislator to advocate against the EPA, resulting in the federal indictment being dismissed after a month-long trial.
- Co-counsel of client accused of bank fraud and bid-rigging, resulting in an acquittal on the bank fraud charge.
- Internal investigation assessment of a company’s chief operating officer suspected of stealing over $100,000 from the company.
- Appointed Special Prosecutor for a district attorney’s office to investigate the misappropriation of funds by a lawyer/general trustee of a trust.
- Co-lead counsel in a high-profile, seven-week long extortion trial, involving the chief executive officer of a major county in Georgia.
- Co-lead counsel in a high-profile, month-long criminal RICO case, involving a public school’s chief operating officer.
- Lead counsel in a high-profile, multi-defendant plea, involving fiduciary thefts by employees of a major government department who received excessive over-time pay for work that was not performed.
- Managed indictment and resolution of a fiduciary theft case by a court clerk employee.
- Lead counsel in a high-profile homicide of a homeless woman found on church steps with a gunshot wound to the head.
- Managed indictments and resolutions of fiduciary thefts by bookkeepers employed by a county’s school system.
- Lead counsel in a high-profile, multi-defendant, double homicide case at a suburban apartment complex.
- Lead counsel in a high-profile, double homicide case involving an executive who executed two of his employees.