Kelley B. Hodge
Hon. Kelley B. Hodge, Of Counsel to Elliott Greenleaf (“the Firm”), rejoins the Firm after serving as the 25th District Attorney of Philadelphia, one of the largest prosecutor office’s in the country. Ms. Hodge was elected to serve as the District Attorney by the Board of Judges for the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District. Upon her election, Ms. Hodge became the first African American woman to lead the District Attorney’s office in its 167-year history and the first African American woman to lead a District Attorney’s Office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.Ms. Hodge has developed an extensive and comprehensive trial, litigation and compliance practice over the course of her twenty year legal career. Ms. Hodge brings to the Firm a wealth of legal experience and expertise in criminal law, higher education law, elementary and secondary education, risk assessment and compliance, state and federal government policy advising and civil rights. Ms. Hodge offers experience in policy advising and promotion of criminal and education prevention strategies that address the complex number of regulations regarding claims of misconduct and due process violations involving employees, staff, students and law enforcement. Ms. Hodge serves as a member of the Firm’s Higher Education, White Collar, Internal Investigations and litigation practice groups.
Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Hodge was the Title IX Coordinator at the University of Virginia (“the University”), an esteemed distinction as the first independently identified Title IX Coordinator at the state’s premier institution of higher education. As Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Hodge was tasked with the implementation of a new sex and gender –based harassment policy across eleven schools at the University, including the medical, law and business schools. Ms. Hodge worked proactively and reactively to address any and all concerns related to sex and/ or gender-based harassment and intimate partner violence at the University with the goal of eliminating the reported hostile behavior, preventing its recurrence and addressing its effects. To achieve this end goal, Ms. Hodge oversaw numerous investigations to ensure University compliance with federal statutes and U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recommended guidance documents (“Dear Colleague” letters) issued in 2011 and 2014. Ms. Hodge also provided advisement and University –wide training on Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Clery Act which included training thousands of students, administrators, faculty, staff, and employees as a component of the University’s prevention strategy through education and awareness. Ms. Hodge has also trained nationally on Title IX to the NCAA for future athletic directors for Division I programs and at a conference held in February 2016 on Title IX compliance. As Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Hodge worked as the Executive Assistant to the President and alongside the University’s Office of General Counsel to advise on policy implementation, case analysis, reporting requirements, data collection and preservation of direct reporting documents for the University and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) as mandated by policy and by an active resolution agreement between the University and OCR.
Prior to her tenure at the University of Virginia, Ms. Hodge had been appointed in December 2011 by former Governor Tom Corbett (PA) to serve as the Safe Schools Advocate under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the state agency on crime prevention and data collection to support evidence-based programs. As Safe Schools Advocate, Ms. Hodge constructed an office and staff that oversaw the reporting and response to incidents of violence reported to have taken place in Philadelphia Public Schools, a school district of over 150,000 students. Ms. Hodge engaged in all aspects of K-12 education where a student’s access to a fair and appropriate safe learning environment and a staff’s access to a safe work environment may have been compromised based on deficiencies in the school safety policy or implementation of procedures under the policy. Ms. Hodge worked closely with the First Judicial District Juvenile and Adult Courts, local law enforcement, mental and behavioral health agencies, community-based agencies, Philadelphia City Council, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Philadelphia Mayor’s Office and human relations agencies and national organizations that work to ensure civil rights are protected for marginalized or minority communities. Based on her expertise, Ms. Hodge was selected in 2013 to serve on a Pennsylvania Joint State Commission on Violence Prevention in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and in 2014 she was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Interstate Compact for Juvenile Justice. Ms. Hodge has also presented at a training hosted by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office for Homeland Security for School Resource Officers, local law enforcement, school administrators and staff on school safety and first responders. In all aspects of education, elementary and secondary education as well as higher education, Ms. Hodge has navigated the intricate balance in education law of transparency versus protection to ensure educational privacy rights that are governed and guarded by FERPA are maintained. Ms. Hodge has a seasoned background in collaboration across systems and governmental agencies to promote equitable and timely resolution of competing or divergent issues.
Ms. Hodge began practicing law in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a criminal defense attorney for the Richmond Public Defender’s Office in 1997 and, for over six years, served as lead trial attorney or supervising attorney on a wide array of criminal cases. Ms. Hodge represented indigent clients from arraignment through to verdict on charges ranging from petit larceny to homicide. In 2004, Ms. Hodge began practicing law as a prosecutor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when she joined the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, one of the largest prosecutor’s offices in the United States. Ms. Hodge served as a supervising attorney under District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham and District Attorney R. Seth Williams. For eight years, Ms. Hodge prosecuted thousands of cases that ranged from misdemeanor theft to attempted homicide in the First Judicial District before the bench and juries. She trained and managed new and seasoned attorneys to provide comprehensive legal analysis of all facets of a case in order to develop a competent, equitable and legally sound case strategy. Ms. Hodge also assisted in either the creation and/or implementation of various diversionary programs, such as Mental Health Court, Veterans’ Court, DUI Treatment Court and Drug Court to effectuate alternative methods in addressing root causes of criminal behavior. Upon her return to the District Attorney’s office to serve as its elected leader, Ms. Hodge managed a budget of approximately $54 million and a staff of 600 comprised of attorneys, support staff and law enforcement. As District Attorney, Ms. Hodge addressed issues concerning gun violence, the opioid epidemic, capital punishment reforms and criminal justice reforms. She has also taught as an adjunct professor of law at Drexel University’s School of Law.
Ms. Hodge received her juris doctor from the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law in 1996. She is a 1993 graduate of the University of Virginia where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs and in Spanish Language and Literature. She is a native of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, PA.
Ms. Hodge is a member of the Bars in the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia and is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court and district courts of both jurisdictions. She is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Montgomery County Bar Association. Ms. Hodge is also a member of the governing board of Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, PA. , the governing board of Mercy Neighborhood Ministries in Philadelphia, the advisory board of Villanova Law School’s Institute on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, the advisory board of the Community College of Philadelphia’s Center for Law and Society, the advisory board for the International Association of Chiefs of Police Subcommittee on Hate Crimes, and the President’s select board to address diversity and African-American interests at the University of Virginia. Ms. Hodge also serves as an inaugural member and mentor for at-risk high school young women in Philadelphia through the Women of Tomorrow national mentor and scholarship organization. She is also an active member of Jack and Jill of America and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Ms. Hodge currently resides with her husband and 10 year old son in Philadelphia, PA.