Hayes was born in Wilmington on February 6, 1980. He is a 1998 graduate of James Kenan High School and 2002 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College where he majored in history and played baseball. Hayes earned his J.D. in 2005 from Campbell University. Hayes married his wife, Emily, in 2004 and in 2010 their son, Miller, joined the family. Miller became a big brother to Harper Jane in 2014. Hayes enjoys competing in triathlons, fishing, duck hunting and playing golf.
In 2012 Hayes was named a "Rising Star" by Superlawyers Magazine. Additionally, in November 2012 Hayes became Duplin County's only State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense.
Though Ludlum Law Firm is a general practice firm, 70 percent of Hayes' practice is dedicated to criminal defense. Hayes handles all types of felony, misdemeanor, and traffic cases in Duplin County and Sampson County. Hayes has served the Fourth Judicial District Bar as Vice President (2007-2008) and President (2008-2009). A small portion of Hayes' practice is devoted to general civil litigation and municipal law. Ludlum Law Firm represents four municipalities in Duplin County.