President, Harkness Consulting Solutions, LLC
Melody Harkness is the President and Expert Consultant of Harkness Consulting Solutions, LLC, a business consulting company specializing in strategic planning and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for groups worldwide. In 2016, Melody relocated from her home-state of North Carolina to the Capital District of NY to serve as Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York’s (LASNNY) Private Attorney Involvement coordinator spearheading the Closing the Gap project, a nationally recognized, remote pro bono program. Due to her leadership, pro bono assistance tripled services provided in LASNNY’s rural and isolated communities on housing and consumer issues and is modeled by programs in New York City, Ohio, Virginia and California. The program now serves around 200 unrepresented litigants annually with participation from attorneys in areas as far as: New Zealand, St. Kitts, and the Netherlands. In addition to success of Closing the Gap, Melody restructured and expanded the firm’s Attorney for the Day tenant defense program in the City of Albany to city courts in Glens Falls, Ogdensburg, Troy and Plattsburgh serving more than 150 tenants annually. Before joining LASNNY, Melody coordinated Legal Aid of North Carolina’s statewide Lawyer on the Line program. She obtained her Master of Legal Studies degree from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from North Carolina State University. Melody previously served on the Board of Directors for Support the Port, Inc. In 2018, Melody was recognized with the Capital District Women’s Bar Association Exemplary Community Service Award which recognizes a distinguished individual’s service to the greater Capital District community, promotes the advancement of women who are involved in or affected by the legal system, and provides other sustained acts of public service and community education. In her free time, Melody ideates community development projects and opportunities for community engagement.