Epic Giveaways for Epic Success; Wisdom from the Winner for Women, Jennifer Donovan of J. Donovan Law Group

Winning over our readers as one of the top-voted nominees for Most Influential Leader of 2022, Jennifer Donovan is a Winner Magazine favourite, and we were thrilled when she agreed to share the secrets behind her recent successes in this follow-up interview.  The leader of J. Donovan Law Group in New Brunswick, Jennifer has not only doubled the languages served, but she has also more than tripled her business and list of awards since her achievements first caught our eye.  What has left us speechless is that her strategy strongly involves one of Winner Magazine's most coveted pillars of integrity for any top-rated professional: the principle of giving back.  From helping her own staff, to her clients, to children, and the entire view on women's potential in the field of law, Jennifer has found a way to turn her "Epic Giveaways" into her epic success.  Read her full interview below to learn how Jennifer, the recipient of countless awards for legal services in New Brunswick, has continued to grow a business as big as her heart!  

I am a testament that hard work and determination will pay off in spades if you don't give up.

 Jennifer L. Donovan, Lawyer/Mediator/Owner of J. Donovan Law Group

Follow Up With Jennifer L. Donovan, Lawyer/Mediator/Owner of J. Donovan Law Group

What services does J. Donovan Law Group currently offer, and in which locations are these offered?

J. Donovan Law Group is a boutique law firm owned and operated by lawyer/mediator, Jennifer L. Donovan. We first opened in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on January 2, 2019, followed by the opening of the Miramichi location on July 6, 2021 and then the Saint Andrews location on July 4, 2023. With three office locations in less than 5 years, the all-female firm offers bilingual services and has a large experienced team of 22 award-winning professionals. J. Donovan Law Group offers same day and next day service in the areas of separation and divorce, mediation, immigration, business incorporation, Wills and Estates, probate, criminal defence and real estate. We are very community minded and give back to our community many times each year and support numerous causes and charities. All being from small towns in New Brunswick, born and raised, together we have joined forces to serve our hometowns and all of New Brunswick. Hiring us sends a strong message!      

Since your last interview, how has your vision for growth/ the company's vision transformed or stayed the same? What is the company's vision?

I now have 21 full time staff and 2 part time staff. Criminal defence, mediation and immigration are now at the top of the firm's practice areas. I have grown our real estate practice by 300%. I now have 5 associates, 3 of whom are bilingual and able to offer full legal services in both official languages of English and French.

My vision for the future of J. Donovan Law Group is to grow the team at each of the 3 locations, while transforming my relationship with my associates into a partnership with the top producing ones. I am open to changing the law firm structure we have, all in an effort to grow even bigger and reach even higher, in the spirit of helping other women lawyers achieve their full potential. I strongly believe in mentorship and using each day to change the face of what it means to be a lawyer. In my world, practicing law is no longer an old boys’ club. Of course, the potential for a fourth location is a possibility and the logical next step when the time is right.  

Which recent milestones have marked meeting benchmarks towards the fulfillment of your personal goals/ the vision and goals of J. Donovan Law Group? 

As of June 30, 2023, we have hit 1863 new clients since January 2, 2019. My goal for J. Donovan Law Group had been 1000 new clients by January 2, 2024. We are now 137 away from hitting 2000 new clients! That is unbelievable. I told my team in August of 2019 that when we hit 1000 new clients, we would close for one week and I would treat them and their spouses to a beach vacation down south for a week of pampering, relaxation, reflection, fun and appreciation. We are closing in late April 2024 and 30 of us are going on vacation!!!! I appreciate the strength of my team in helping me reach goals.  

In the last two years, we have received numerous awards including:

1. Canadian Business Review Board Inc. Best Law Firm in New Brunswick, 2023 and 2022

2. ThreeBest Rated Best Business of 2023 and 2022

3. Best Divorce Lawyer in 2023 and 2022

4. Top 10 Criminal Defence Lawyer in Fredericton in 2023

5. Community Votes Fredericton, Platinum, 2022 Best in Estate Lawyers

6. Community Votes Fredericton, Platinum, 2022 Best in Immigration Lawyer and Lawyers

7. Community Votes Fredericton, Gold, 2022 Best in Real Estate Law and Lawyers 

8. Community Votes Fredericton, Platinum, 2022 Best in Lawyers

9. Community Votes Fredericton, Platinum, 2021 Best in Lawyers  

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

I have a certain expectation for new staff when delivering services to the public. I expect white glove service by all team members. Training and more training and regular feedback are keys to ensuring J. Donovan Law Group maintains the consumer trust we have become nationally known for. It means that I must be fully engaged at all times to ensure there are no holes in what we do or how we do it. I handle all feedback by the public and am the one who puts measures in place to deal with any negative feedback. I share all positive feedback with the team as it is so important to hear both the good and bad if we are to continue to grow and excel.      

Have you undertaken any recent steps in education or partaken in other experiences that you feel have been helpful in sustaining a successful practice? 

J. Donovan Law Group’s corporate culture supports community involvement and volunteerism in many ways but the top way that it does is through the leadership of its leader. I lead by example and encourage all staff to give back in their own unique ways. J. Donovan Law Group is well known for its Mother’s Day and Father’s Day EPIC Giveaway contests with over $10,000.00 in prizes simply given away in a random draw each year since 2021. I financially supported 9 groups in 2021, 13 groups in 2022 and already 8 groups in 2023. We are routinely platinum sponsors of events for not-for-profit organizations with the last one being for Liberty Lane’s 30th Anniversary Fundraising Gala in April 2023. We have given large sums of money to various school sports teams throughout New Brunswick and have given many times since 2019 to local food banks and women shelters. 

J. Donovan Law Group, through its leadership, empowers the staff to get involved and experience the benefits of supporting local causes. With me having so much fun doing it, our giveaways become a team event with business hours becoming social time and periods of growth for the staff.

I started JDLG’s Kids Club in early 2019 which is an exclusive club for clients’ children. It is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to enrich the lives of clients’ children when the client does not have the financial or other means to do so. The motto is “All Kids Are All-Stars” and recognizes that separation and divorce can be extremely expensive, leaving little to maybe no resources left for braces, tutoring, daycare, summer camps, travel and so on. The team helps with the Kids’ Club by working on grant applications, fundraising initiatives and promoting the cause.

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

With our Facebook and Instagram accounts, we have about 15,000 followers. Our social media EPIC giveaways are one major new and innovative approach/initiative J. Donovan Law Group uses to benefit the community. Not many law firms use social media to the extent we do. We have about 15,000 followers on both FaceBook and Instagram alone.  I have recognized the power of social media for spreading awareness, promoting the firm and its causes, growing the clientele and accessing more people in NB in general. No other law firm in NB does giveaways like we do. All the prizes are purchased by me; no prizes have ever been sponsored. The giveaways support local businesses throughout the province. One major feedback that we frequently receive is that our kindness and generosity give people hope and make people feel good and want to pay it forward themselves. 

In 2021, we gave away 500 $500 gift certificates to J. Donovan Law Group. During that initiative, an overwhelming majority of the people were able to get a Will and Power of Attorney done who would not have otherwise been able to afford to. More people having valid Wills and Powers of Attorney benefit the community at large through less estate litigation, more informed estate planning and an increased awareness for executors of what to do and not to do in that role. 

In 2023, during our Mother’s Day Epic Giveaway contest, a woman approached me about infertility issues and child loss. She opened my eyes to the other reality of Mother’s Day, that for many women, that day is a trigger for pain, loss and heartache. Through that contact, I was inspired to recognize women affected with infertility and child loss and I decided to host an evening of dinner, new friendships, laughter, positivity and support. I called for nominations of women who would enjoy a night out with me and other women, all with the focus on uplifting and empowering those affected by extreme loss. I committed to hosting 10 women at a local restaurant. Well, that is where it began...

The event, now called “Beyond the Journey”, will happen on July 27, 2023 and 25 women - not 10 - will take part in a full day and evening of pampering, socializing, enjoying dinner and champagne and being surrounded and supported by other women including other professionals who are donating their time to the cause. Dimitries Restaurant in Fredericton has approached me to have the event there with a special menu and the Delta Fredericton has offered the Royal Suite at no charge for the day and night. A photographer has offered free head shots and a hair stylist and make up artist have offered free services.

All of this happened after one social media post made by me, recognizing that J. Donovan Law Group’s Mother’s Day Epic Giveaways are a trigger for pain for so many women and humbly expressing my sincere desire to spoil those women too.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @lglvxn.  

What is one fun fact about your personal life or hobbies that your audience/clientele may not know about you?

I used to work at a lumber mill during undergrad and one of my main responsibilities was to pile large pieces of lumber for distribution throughout the province and world. Being from a small town in Miramichi, New Brunswick, working at a lumber mill was a great paying job and an honour for me. I needed government student loans to fund my university education and I am still grateful for my days at the mill that paid me so well ($11.75/hour in 1998-2000). 


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?

The next 5 years will be very bright and exciting for J. Donovan Law Group. I am always motivated to do more. I want us to grow our immigration practice. I want to mediate more disputes. I want some of my associates to take on executive roles with more responsibilities. I want to challenge my team to reach new positions within the company and create those positions along the way. I want to create a strong referral program with attractive benefits and recognize those people or groups who refer people to us.    

What advice would you like to give readers that hope to achieve success in your field? Has this changed in any way from advice you have previously given to Winner Magazine readers?

Take the time to know exactly what you want to do in life. Doing what you love each day will mean that you never work. Being a lawyer/business owner is not work to me. I love what I do even on the not so great days. I have learned a lot in the last 2 decades and still rely on mentors when needed. I never know too much. There is always potential to learn more. Evolution is key to success. Don't be afraid of messing up because it is during times of mess up, that you will grow the most. You have one life. Rock it! Or, as I like to say, go shine bright like a diamond!              

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

I am a girl from a very small town in Miramichi, New Brunswick who now has 3 office locations and employs 25 people. I had three children from 37-40 years of age. I am a testament that hard work and determination will pay off in spades if you don't give up. Who knew that I would one day find myself being interviewed by a national magazine and possibly impacting people in big city centres like Toronto, Montreal or Calgary. There are no limits to what you can do. I am the living example of that.    


We thank Jennifer for sharing these insights and experiences with Winner Magazine's readers.  If you are looking for Family Law, Immigration Law, or Business Incorporation Services in the Fredericton, Miramirchi, or St Andrews Area, we would recommend reaching out to Jennifer at J. Donovan Law Group!

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