Stephanie Donovan

Donovan, Stephanie B. Partner

Donovan, Stephanie B. Partner

Practice Focus

Stephanie Donovan has an extensive background in education, employment and labor law and supports public and private sector employers with a particular focus on charter schools and school districts.  She also has experience representing non-profit entities and voluntary associations, especially in the areas of testing, accommodations and credentialing.  She provides general counsel services to units of local government, including board services and corporate matters.  Finally, she provides training on equal opportunity issues to clients and is a regular speaker at industry conferences.


Professional Background

Most recently, Stephanie served as the General Counsel for the Illinois State Board of Education.  She is particularly experienced in the practice areas of assessment, licensure, student discipline, records requirements, homeless students, board services, charter schools, school finance, performance evaluations, tenure, educator discipline and dismissal, student privacy, residency and constitutional rights.  Prior to her tenure at the State Board, Stephanie was a Chief of Staff at the Chicago Public Schools and was focused on transforming low performing elementary and secondary schools within the system, which provided her with great insight into the inter-workings of government employers.  Before joining the Chicago Public Schools, she spent approximately 15 years in the public and private sectors representing large municipal corporations and companies in labor negotiations and other aspects of labor and employment law.  She is extremely knowledgeable of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to name a few seminal employment laws.  She also negotiated collective bargaining agreements ranging from a $1 billion contract involving the largest bargaining unit in the state to a simple contract renewal with a thirty-person bargaining unit.  Finally, she has recently expanded her practice to include non-profit entities and voluntary associations that rely heavily on testing and credentialing as a basis for membership criteria.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Illinois Association of School Boards, Member
  • Illinois Association of School Administrators, Member
  • Illinois Council of School Attorneys, Member

Recent Publications