Ms. Jennifer Lynn Ervin
Clark Atlanta University
Jennifer is the General Counsel for Clark Atlanta University, her alma mater and one of the nation’s oldest, most prominent historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) located in the heart of the Atlanta University Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In her role as the University’s General Counsel, Jennifer provides daily legal advice and counsel to Executive Cabinet members and their respective teams on all matters affecting the University, while honoring the University’s rich legacy and the contributions of the University’s alumni to local, regional and national social and economic progress.
Prior to joining the executive leadership team at Clark Atlanta in 2020, Jennifer served as the General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer for Shelby County Schools in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. In this role, Jennifer led a 22-member team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff and managed the day-to-day operations of the school district’s legal, policy, legislative and risk management teams. In August 2019, Jennifer was recognized and honored by the Shelby County Commission as the first African American woman to serve as the General Counsel for Shelby County Schools in its over 150-year history.
Jennifer’s work in the legal industry began during her time in the Atlanta office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC, where she represented companies in a broad range of general commercial and business litigation, including, but not limited to, cases involving personal injury, products liability, breach of contract claims, claims on open accounts, and judgment enforcement and collections. She also represented an array of clients, including mortgage lenders and servicers, clinical laboratory companies, health care companies and publicly traded supermarket chains. Jennifer also counseled educational institutions on the regulations governing Title IX grievance procedures, student confidentiality, and proper and comprehensive training of Title IX Coordinators and responsible employees; drafting and revising student and employee handbooks and Title IX grievance procedures; and providing ad hoc legal advice to higher education clients.
Throughout her career, Jennifer has been a staunch advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and most recently co-authored an article for Baker Donelson titled, “A General Counsel's View on Advising Through COVID-19,” where she provides her perspective on advising clients during a crisis.
Before earning her law degree from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, Jennifer worked as an accountant for Turner, Inc. (previously known as Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.). While at Turner, Jennifer also developed a working knowledge of the media and television broadcasting industries that has been helpful to how she advises her client on matters requiring both effective legal advice and proper crisis management.
Over the course of her career, she has been listed by the National Black Lawyers as a member of the “Top 40 Under 40,” a “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyers and a member of Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite.”