Member Spotlight: Jodee Sparkman Larcade

04 Apr 2023 9:23 AM | Lynette Pitt (Administrator)

Meet Jodee Sparkman Larcade

Jodee Sparkman Larcade is a Partner/Owner of Sparkman Larcade PLLC, a woman-owned small law firm practicing civil litigation statewide based in Raleigh, NC.  Jodee is a 1979 graduate Southern Methodist University School of Law, and has been a member of NCADA since 1990.  Jodee has been an active member having served as a program chair, past member of the Board of Directors, and past Treasurer.    We were excited to catch up with Jodee and learn her motivations for becoming a civil trial lawyer!

What drew you to the practice of law and to a litigation and trial practice? 
The short answer is my grandfather and watching Perry Mason as a child. I watched Perry Mason with my grandfather every Sunday night from the time I was 7 years old (even though it started way past my bedtime!) When he was a young man, my grandfather was interning/apprenticing with an attorney-mentor in order to become an attorney, but due to the Great Depression, he was unable to complete his studies. With that having been said, he eventually became the president of a local union for Bethlehem Steel for over 30 years. I grew up assisting him in preparing grievances and advocating in various steps of arbitration to and including 4th step arbitrations in Washington DC. He inspired my passion for the law. He inspired me to think independently, to champion the little guy, and to contend for what is right and good.

What would you do if you were not a lawyer?  
Being a lawyer is my passion, so it’s a difficult question to answer. I like the drama of the courtroom, the script, and the improvisation that is necessary. Ask anyone, I am a very competitive person and I very much enjoy the battle. But, if I was not a lawyer, and as you can tell from these comments, I would like to be a famous actress!

What is the biggest career challenge you’ve had to overcome? 
My answer may be predictable, but the biggest career challenge I’ve had to overcome quite frankly, was/is the undertones of sexual discrimination/bias and professional disrespect. I started practicing law in 1979 and very few women were in the courtroom trying cases back then, and if they were, they were never first chair and always in the background. I ONLY wanted to be a trial lawyer. I was first hired by a small insurance defense firm and I’m not sure anyone knew what to do with me, judges, lawyers, paralegals, and secretaries alike. In spite of appearances and an influx of women over the past years into the practice of law, those challenges remain even today in a courtroom setting and during a trial, particularly within the profession itself. I will say, however, being underestimated has been a strong weapon.

What is your favorite legal movie or TV show and why?
My favorite movie is "To Kill a Mockingbird". The personal family backdrop and the professional dynamics of the time are compelling. Standing up for what is right against public opinion and against all odds, regardless of the personal cost, inspires me to work hard, do my best, and be the best advocate I can be for my client.

If you could meet one person, dead or alive, to grab a coffee with, who would it be and why?
Well, first of all, I don’t like coffee so it would have to be a cup of hot tea. I would like to sit down and talk with Abraham Lincoln. His wit and character are unmatched. He was a masterful storyteller and a excellent trial lawyer… and don’t trial lawyers need to be good storytellers?

Connect with Jodee for a great conversation over a cup of tea!

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