A Winner Empowering Women; Exclusive Interview with Jennifer of J Donovan Law Group for Winner Magazine | BNS News

With a mindset primed for social justice and growth, Jennifer Donovan has shown she can lead with a cause while winning at every step.  Proving to the world what women can accomplish with an all-female team, Jennifer has built the success of her New Brunswick law firm, J Donovan Law Group, on a culture of benevolence.  In the Q&A with BNS' Jasmine Kara, we catch a glimpse of how Jennifer has paired her social imperative with determination, deliberate delegation, accountability to staff and clients, as well as powerful social engagement strategies to earn innumerable accolades.  Some examples to serve as testimony to Jennifer's methods include being voted "Best Lawyers (and Divorce Lawyers) in Fredericton for 2021," winning the Canadian Bar Association's Pro Bono Award, being nominated four times in a row for a National Women of Influence Award, and being named a Best Business in Canada by the CBRB in 2022.  Read on for the full account of Jennifer's motivating steps to success in her interview, below:

Try to set yourself apart and don't go with the flow. Invest in your brand awareness. 

 Jennifer Donovan, Owner/Lawyer/Mediator at J Donovan Law Group

Q & A With Jennifer Donovan, Owner/Lawyer at J Donovan Law Group

What services does J Donovan Law Group offer?

J. Donovan Law Group is a law firm that offers specialized legal services in family law, criminal defence, wills and estates and real estate, as well as mediation of all types of disputes and officiants for weddings. Our law offices are located in Miramichi and Fredericton but our clients are all over New Brunswick. 


How did you come up with the idea to start the J Donovan Law Group, and what purpose did you intend to serve with the concept?

I have been practicing law for 17 years and by year 2, I had been given a 35-year law practice from a highly respected lawyer at the time who had been called to the bench and now sits on our Court of Appeal. When that achievement happened, the seed to have my own law firm was planted. Over the years, my confidence to run my own firm grew but it was not until I had my first child that the decision to make the leap was made. My son was born in December 2017 and in January 2018, I was taking him with me to view potential locations to buy and transform into my own firm. I wanted my own firm as I felt stifled in my partnership at the time. Not only was I the only female lawyer but I did not want to pay rent; I wanted to own, be able to make my own decisions and support women in the profession and be a leader in the community and the province. I did not have the same vision as my former partners and knew I could transform how I was practicing law and first build a solo practice with the goal of hiring lawyers and other team members to serve the entire province. J. Donovan Law Group was opened on January 2, 2019. I did not want a traditional firm. I wanted to inspire, lead and be exceptional on my own terms. I have quickly achieved tremendous success and am very proud of my accomplishments.  

Which milestones have marked meeting benchmarks towards the fulfillment of your personal goals/ the company's vision and goals?

When I started J. Donovan Law Group on January 2, 2019, I had a team of 3 women. Right away I hired 2 more women. By mid 2019, I had a team of 6 women. As of mid 2022, I have a team of 12 women and own 2 office locations (in Miramichi and Fredericton). I have been voted Best Divorce Lawyer in Fredericton as of 2021 and J. Donovan Law Group was voted Best Lawyers in Fredericton as of 2021. In 2020, I was the face of a local club that honours women in business. I have received the Canadian Bar Association's Pro Bono Award for providing outstanding pro bono services to the public. I have been nominated 4 years in a row for a National Women of Influence Award. In 2019, I was the only New Brunswick woman business owner at a national gala in Toronto for my success. We set a goal in September 2019 to hit 1000 new clients as soon as possible and achieved that at the end of April 2022. In 2021, J. Donovan Law Group was recognized as a Best Business in Canada. I am known for empowering women and inspiring others to be community-focused and to give back as much as one can. J. Donovan Law Group is an all female firm.   

Which steps have you taken for the company to achieve the level of consumer trust that has been nationally recognized? 

I expect excellence and strive with each and every task to provide excellence in the delivery of all services. I not only lead but I will help all my team members perform any task. I treat my team with respect and appreciation and they in turn treat our clients with the same. I communicate our goals and objectives to my team  daily, and have an open door policy. They understand our mission and are committed to achieving the same. I reward my team, regularly, and encourage them to reach new heights, often. I was raised by hardworking parents who taught me that your word is everything and having others trust you will create a very strong foundation for any purpose in life. I have taken the time to relate to the public, relate to our clients and understand what is needed to ensure our clients and referral sources trust us and feel comfortable around us. Since I was a young child, I wanted to achieve top results in anything I did. I am still that way as an adult and will do what it takes to remain at the top. I appreciate the power of social media and have used that to propel J. Donovan Law Group to the top. I invest in advertising and promotion. I strive to stay current and the law firm that everyone thinks of at first instance.    

What part of your education or other experiences do you feel was the most helpful in preparing you for success? 

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since grade 7. Watching the tv show, "Matlock," inspired me to be a lawyer who fights for all people. I set my mind to becoming a lawyer as soon as I could, and completed 7 years of post secondary education in 6 years. The biggest propellor of my success as a lawyer was when I received the 35-year law practice from a distinguished female lawyer during my second year at the bar and then became a partner at my then law firm at the age of 27. I have a type A personality and strive for excellence. I detest mediocrity. I have an abundance of confidence but have also leaned on mentors along the way. I encourage other people to have mentors, too. My former bosses gave me some of the best professional advice I could receive and I still think of them and our discussions from years past when I have a decision to make about business. I am able to accept constructive criticism and be honest with myself. I have also been tenacious since birth and have remained so, which makes achieving continued success a little easier. I am a hard worker and have sacrificed along the way to get to where I am at now. I know the value of dedication and determination.  

Which strategies have you found the most effective in growing your audience/ bringing awareness of your service to a larger consumer group? 

The best strategy by far has been using social media to connect with the public and having a great website: www.jdonovanlaw.ca . I invest in professionals to help me in the areas of promotion and marketing. I am not scared to spend money in areas that will grow our client base and brand recognition. My goal is to help as many New Brunswickers and people moving to New Brunswick as I can. To do that, people must know about J. Donovan Law Group. J. Donovan Law Group has the best social media give away contests and we have given away tens of thousands of dollars in prizes to members of the public who have participated in our contests. Our Facebook @jdonovanlaw and Instagram @lglvxn have thousands of followers who engage with our content. This Mother's Day, our Epic give away included 5 packages with the top being a trip for two with airfare and hotel accommodations for the weekend. Our motto is we are lawyers who care. J. Donovan Law Group has donated tens of thousands of dollars to community projects to help those in need. We quickly stepped in when asked to sponsor a girls' hockey team when their corporate sponsor suddenly could not during COVID-19. We are known for our generosity. It is important to me that my three sons know the importance of helping others and giving back to your community when you can.  

What are your future plans to build on your personal/ company achievements and fulfill your vision for success/ what developments can your audience or clientele look forward to expecting next?

My main future plan is to increase the size of my team so I can serve even more people in New Brunswick. I want to create a divorce expo where people going through separation or divorce, and their support networks, can attend to learn about services and resources and to receive valuable information in a positive and empowering environment. I am known for my family law skills and experience in court. All too often, separation and divorce have very negative connotations and people going through either feel negatively about themselves and their lives. I am on a mission to change the narrative and the image surrounding the end of relationships. Our website, jdonovanlaw.ca , has many articles from both myself, and my team members, that provide free information to the public. One is "Go For Your Divorce". People need to be uplifted and guided to the next chapter in their lives and the best way to help them with that is to encourage and inform them. Happy and positive parents provide happy and positive environments for their children. If you change the narrative, you change the image. Onward and Upward.    

What advice would you like to give readers that hope to achieve success in your field?

It is important to seek out a mentor or mentors. Ask questions and be open to the answers. Be very honest with yourself and have a clear plan. You will make mistakes and experience fear along the way but if you truly believe in yourself and understand your goals, you will succeed. Try to set yourself apart and don't go with the flow. Invest in your brand awareness.  

Is there anything else you would like to share with Winner Magazine readers?

I never forgot my roots and frequently express gratitude and appreciation to my team, family and clients who support me and my goals. I don't let critics tear me down and no matter what, I strive to lead and never to follow.      

The empowering spirit of Jennifer's conscientious practice is captured in this moving video by her team for International Women's day:

We thank Jennifer for sharing these insights and experiences with Winner Magazine's readers.  If you are looking for Family Law Services in the New Brunswick Area, we would recommend reaching out to Jennifer at J Donovan Law Group!

Previous Post Next Post