Jennifer Donnelly


Office: Peoria
[email protected]
309-671-9000 (office)
847-670-7334 (fax)

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University of Illinois at SpringfieldB.A.Criminal Justicecum laude, 2008 

Southern Illinois University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2011  

  • Journal of Legal MedicinePublished Member 

As an associate in the firm, Jennifer Donnelly practices in all areas of school and municipal law. Jennifer’s experience includes the representation of clients on a wide range of education, labor, and employment law matters, including special education, student discipline, collective bargaining agreements, employee misconduct, teacher dismissals, and discrimination claims. In addition, Jennifer assists school districts and municipalities with a variety of board governance and business matters including policyFreedom of Information Act, and Open Meetings Act concerns.  

Prior to joining Hodges Loizzi, Jennifer worked as a staff attorney in the research department of the Fourth District Appellate Court and served as a judicial law clerk for two Justices in the Appellate Court system. Jennifer’s experience working with the judiciary gives her a unique behind the scenes perspective when it comes to evaluating potential issues and counseling clients. Having learned the law directly from appellate court judges, she is able to critically evaluate fact patterns, consider potential issues from all sides, and advise her clients based on what the triers-of-facts will find important and/or dispositive — which often differs from what attorneys believe are important. This background allows her to effectively, and persuasively, advocate for her clients through all stages of the process.  

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, son, cat, and three boxers (#adoptdontshop), advocating for animals in need, and doing anything outdoors 

  • National Council of School Attorneys, Member, 2019 – Present   

  • Illinois Council of School Attorneys, Member, 2019 – Present   

  • Peoria County Bar AssociationMember, 2017 – Present  

  • Innocence Project Intern, 2007 – 2008, 2010 – 2011 

  • CALI Award, Lawyering Skills

  • CALI Award, Legal Profession and Ethics

  • CALI Award, Family Law

  • CALI Award, Advanced Torts

  • CALI Award, Mental Health Law

  • The Mandatory Criminal Fines Conundrum – co-author, Illinois Bar Journal, 2015 

  • The Need for Ibogaine in Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment, Journal of Legal Medicine, 2011