Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 26, 2019

Jelks Law adds women’s advocate, attorney O’Donnell

Women’s advocate and attorney Emily O’Donnell has joined Chattanooga-based Jelks Law. - File photo by David Laprad

Women’s advocate and attorney Emily O’Donnell has joined Chattanooga-based Jelks Law as a part-time contract attorney, assisting clients with a variety of real estate, nonprofit and business issues.

O’Donnell will continue to serve as executive director of the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga, the nonprofit advocacy organization she has led since 2017.

“Emily is a phenom,” says Amanda Jelks, founder and owner of Jelks Law. “Her legal acumen and community leadership experience make her a valuable addition to our firm as we expand our footprint outside of Tennessee.”

Jelks founded her firm in 2015 after practicing law for five years in a large regional firm. Since then, Jelks Law has experienced growth providing business and estate services to residents of Tennessee and Georgia.

Jelks says O’Donnell will increase capacity for the woman and minority-owned law firm, allowing it to not only serve more clients but also provide “an even better experience for existing clients.”

O’Donnell brings more than a decade of legal experience to the Jelks team. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science at Sewanee: The University of the South and her juris doctor from Georgia State University, where she graduated with honors in 2008.

O’Donnell’s legal and advocacy career began that year at Legal Aid of East Tennessee, where she practiced for eight years as a staff attorney, representing clients in a variety of civil cases in 12 Tennessee counties.

O’Donnell advised on legal issues in her subsequent two-year role as vice president of external affairs at the Public Education Foundation. Serving as executive director of the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga requires a wide range of legal skills, from drafting legislation to lobbying the Tennessee legislature.

“I’m excited to work with Amanda,” O’Donnell says. “Amanda has a great reputation for excellent client service and she serves this community well. I’m also looking forward to keeping my legal skills sharp.”

O’Donnell says her role at the Women’s Fund will not change. “I consider myself blessed to be able to continue the important work of the Women’s Fund while also practicing law and serving the clients of Jelks Law,” she says. “I’m always telling my daughters the only limitations they have are those they place on themselves; all others can be overcome. By leaning in to my professional passions of both law and advocacy in this way, I’m turning those words into actions.”

More at www.jelkslaw.com and 423 602-2230.

Source: Jelks Law