About Us

Karen Jernigan

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.


When you call my office you’ll speak with Karla Roche, my legal assistant.  Karla was born in Cincinnati, OH and relocated to Knoxville when she was nine years old.  She graduated from Pellissippi State Community College with an Associates of Applied Science in Legal Assistant Technology.  After she had worked for someone else for a few years, she opened her business – Paralegal Services of Knoxville where she did legal research and typed briefs and letters for attorneys in the Knoxville area.  In 1993 Karla also began representing clients on their Social Security disability claims as a non-attorney representative and later opened her own business doing this.

Karla is a member of the National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR).  While she is no longer representing clients on their disability claims, she still is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR).

She has over 24 years of experience representing clients in front of the Social Security Administration.  She can answer most questions that you have and will be helping you with applications and forms. She will also order updated medical records for your file.  If you have any questions about what is going on with your claim, Karla will be glad to help you.

Karla has been married to John Roche since November 1973.  She has two grown daughters and five grandchildren. John and Karla are members of Gilead Baptist Church where Karla sings in the choir and John is a deacon and Sunday School teacher.