Taylor Rodney, NCAJ Leadership Class of 2023

November 11, 2022

Taylor Rodney is one of the 21 members of the NCAJ NEXT Leadership Program class of 2023. The program, which graduated its first class in 2022, identifies the state’s emerging trial lawyer leaders.

Taylor Rodney

Lives in: Wilmington

Law degree from: University of North Carolina School of Law

Works as: Attorney at Ward and Smith, P.A.

Legal association involvement: NCAJ Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section and New Lawyers Division, North Carolina Bar Association


I am honored to participate in the NCAJ NEXT Program because it means working on a team with my peers. I enjoy a collaborative environment and the opportunity to meet other young attorneys who are part of NCAJ. I have also found my involvement with NCAJ very rewarding and educational thus far, and I want to continue to participate in NCAJ throughout the rest of my career.

Why is the idea of civil justice important to you?

Civil justice is important to me because it is our society’s recourse for being wronged by another. Although no amount of money can replace a terrible injury or the loss of a loved one, our system works to make individuals whole again through monetary relief. As a plaintiffs’ attorney, clients come to us when they are going through a really difficult situation. It is important not only to counsel and represent them through such a trying time, but it is also imperative to be supportive and there for them.

What’s your vision for the future of NCAJ?

I see NCAJ continuing to grow. NCAJ has made strong diversity efforts and offers a wide variety of practice group sections. Over the next five to 10 years, I believe NCAJ will continue to grow in these areas, strengthen its diversity and grow its impact across the state.

Away from work …

I really enjoy anything outside, especially walking on the beach or hiking in the mountains. I have two cats, Stella and Squish, and my fiance and I like to teach them new tricks. I really enjoy reading all types of books and recently became very interested in the iPhone application Good Reads. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my friends, trying new restaurants and breweries and riding my Peloton. I am also a member of the Board of Young Professionals of Communities in Schools in Wilmington.