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I grew up in Cookeville, Tennessee where both of my parents worked in factories. I saw my parents work hard to get by. I began working at the age of 15 and continued to work at nights and on weekends while earning a college degree.


I graduated from Maryville College with a degree in Sign Language/Interpreting and worked in this field for a few years. While going with my hearing-impaired clients to see their lawyers I noticed my clients were not treated with the respect and dignity they deserved.

I wanted to do things differently.  After I got my law degree from the University of Tennessee I began representing people on their claims for Social Security disability benefits.


I have represented thousands of clients at hearings before the Social Security Administration for over 25 years and I know what is required to be found disabled.


I am a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), the Tennessee Bar Association, and the Knoxville Bar Association.


I  have been married for over 30 years to my husband, Kevin, and we have one grown son.



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Karen Jernigan - America's Top 50 Lawyer - Disability - Tennessee

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