After graduating from Leonardtown High School, Joann attended Salisbury University where she graduated in 1991 summa cum laude with general honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts. While studying there, Joann served as a student regent for the eleven campus University of Maryland System Board of Regents (1990-1991) and served as editor-in-chief of The Flyer university newspaper (1989-1990). She also achieved significant academic achievements, maintaining courses within the university Honors Program, including completion of the Honors Core curriculum, receiving the University Presidential Scholarship (1987-1991), receiving the University Alumni Scholarship (1987-1991), receiving the Key Award for Superior scholarship and Outstanding Campus Service (1990), and being inducted into the Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society.
After graduating from Salisbury, Joann attended Georgetown University Law Center where she graduated in 1994 with a juris doctor degree. She was a member of the American Criminal Law Review staff from 1992-1994. While on that staff, she co-authored an article in the Eighth Survey of White Collar Crime – Conflicts of Interest, 30 Amer. Crim. Law Rev. 3, (Spring 1993).
After graduation, Joann was admitted to practice law in Maryland in 1994. She practiced with a small law office in Leonardtown until 1999 when she joined a firm in Lexington Park. She ultimately became a partner in the firm until leaving in 2012 to establish The Law Office of Joann M. Wood, LLC.
Joann has also been admitted in other courts, including the US District Court, District of Maryland (1995), US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit (1999) and the Supreme Court of the United States (2005).
As an attorney, Joann has been a member of the St. Mary’s County Bar Association (1994-present), the Maryland State Bar Association (1994-present), American Inn of Court of Southern Maryland (2010-2011), American Bar Association (1994-2001), Maryland Trial Lawyers Association (1996-2001), American Trial Lawyers Association (1997-2001), J. Dudley Digges Inn of Court (1994-1999).
Joann has argued appellate cases. Two reported opinions issued in her cases are:
Waters v. Whiting, 113 Md. App. 464 (1997) and Electronics Store, Inc. v. Cellco Partnership, 127Md. App. 385 (1999).
While practicing, Joann felt it important to give back to the local community. In an effort to do so, Joann has been involved in the following non-profit and charitable organizations: Three Oaks Center (Board of Directors 2014-2019), Patuxent River Council of the Navy League (Board member, 2007- 2012, 2020), Trinity Lutheran Church (Parish Planning Council, 2010-2016, Board of Elders, 2009-2010), United Way of St. Mary’s County (President of Board, 1997-2004, Board Member, 1995-2007), Great Mills High School mock trial team coach (1994-1997), Leonardtown Rotary Club (1995-2000). She presently serves as vice president of the Seven Sisters Homeowners Association Board in Nags Head, North Carolina. She also gives hours of time to pro bono work for other local charities and organizations which are not listed here.