Staff Profile: Jennifer Grudnowski, Senior Staff Attorney

Development and Marketing Assistant Lisa Borsellino chats with Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Grudnowski, employment lawyer extraordinaire, who also provides direct legal assistance and leads webinars and workshops for myriad nonprofit clients.

What do you like most about working for Pro Bono Partnership?

I most enjoy working with the nonprofit organizations we serve, especially working together to come up with compliant yet practical ways to address their concerns.

How did you come to choose Pro Bono Partnership, a nonprofit providing free legal services, over another law firm or corporate team?

I was looking for a workplace where I could use my employment law experience to help better the community. I honestly did not know that an organization like Pro Bono Partnership existed, but when I learned of it, I found the mission to be very compelling. There was also a substantial need for employment law advice, so it turned out to be a great fit.

What initially drew you to employment law?

I think employment law requires not only knowledge of the law, but also an understanding of human behavior. I enjoy the fact that every situation that involves an employee is different and you never hear the same story twice. 

What types of employment issues do you find that your clients most often face?

Most of the nonprofits I assist require legal guidance on performance management and wage and hour laws, particularly questions about the recent changes to the FLSA.

What’s one piece of advice that you would offer to all of our nonprofit clients?

Managing people is not easy; it requires a great deal of time and attention to the employee. A productive workplace depends on satisfied people, so putting in the time and effort to advance the careers of your employees often is worth the effort.

To our volunteers?

Most of our clients are seeking assistance with employment counseling matters. Typically, they just need someone to point them in the right direction or talk them through a sticky situation. Assisting a client with one of these relatively short matters can make a huge difference in our client’s workplace.

On a lighter note, what’s the last show that you watched on television?

This past Sunday, I watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I enjoy political humor, and I think he gets it right most of the time.

In addition to being one of the Partnership’s Senior Staff Attorneys, you’re a mom to two boys, Tommy and Ryan. What do you love most about being a mom?

The best part of my life is being their mom. I love watching my boys learn every day. Their hugs, too.

With two boys, you must have a favorite superhero!

Actually, I don’t have one! But, I do like Han Solo from Star Wars.

What does your ideal Saturday consist of?

Ideally, I’m hanging out with my family and friends or downhill skiing. My older son tends to have practice or games on the weekends, so my husband, my younger son and I spend a lot of time on the sidelines watching him play.

Where is your hometown, and what do you miss most about it?

I’m originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most of my family still lives there, so of course I miss them the most.

Lastly, if you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?

My dad.