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Justine Donahue, Esq.

Email:    Phone: (202) 684-3089

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“Taking control of your career progression is essential,” says Justine Donahue, a Partner with Garrison & Sisson. After practicing law in DC for more than 13 years, Justine transitioned from lawyer to recruiter for exactly that reason. As an attorney with considerable law firm and government experience, Justine has first-hand insight into the DC legal market and she understands the pivotal career points attorneys face when considering lateral moves. This insight, coupled with her career planning and mentoring expertise, aids Justine in understanding the particularized career needs of individual attorneys, and enables her to provide her clients with a comprehensive, effective, and personal approach to their job search.

Prior to joining Garrison & Sisson, Justine’s legal practice focused on antitrust and complex civil litigation. After a clerkship, Justine started her career as an associate at a DC-based plaintiffs’ class action firm litigating multijurisdictional antitrust cases. She then joined the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division as a trial attorney where she led several merger investigations and regularly reviewed Hart-Scott-Rodino filings. Following her time at DOJ, Justine returned to private practice (with the help of Garrison & Sisson) and joined the DC office of Frommer, Lawrence, and Haug, an IP boutique. At Frommer, Justine continued to concentrate on antitrust and competition law with a focus on Hatch-Waxman and IP-related issues.

As a result of Justine’s progression from private practice, the government, and into legal recruiting, she has experienced first-hand many of the variables attorneys face when considering lateral moves including questions around compensation, work/life balance, and career advancement. Justine often draws on her job-progression experiences when counseling attorneys on their career goals.

Justine earned her J.D., cum laude, from American University, Washington College of Law, where she served as a senior staff member on the American University Law Review. She received her B.A. with honors from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Justine is also an accomplished writer and editor and taught Legal Rhetoric as an adjunct professor at American University, Washington College of Law.


  • Your Missing Practice Area Manual: Know the Right Questions to Ask for Lateral Associate Hiring 
  • NALP Annual Education Conference, April 2015
  • Washington DC Legal Market Series Presenter/Counselor
  • Harvard Law School, 2015
  • University of Michigan Law School, 2015
  • Northwestern University Law School, 2015
  • George Washington University Law School, 2015
  • George Mason University School of Law, 2014


“Justine is a fantastic recruiter.  In the search phase, she really listened to what I was looking for and provided incredibly helpful insight into the market and range of options.  This ability to listen to and understand my priorities and goals set her apart from all other recruiters I spoke with, and the fact that she personally cared about making the right placement -- not just any placement -- was apparent.  Ultimately, Justine helped me to secure an offer from my top-choice firm, negotiate the details, and smooth out any bumps along the way.  She made an overwhelming and stressful job transition absolutely seamless.  In short, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience with Justine -- she was a pleasure to work with while delivering top-notch results.”
-Associate, Magic Circle firm

“Justine was an incredible resource when I was making a move to a new firm. I spoke with several recruiters, but Justine stood out with her knowledge of the market and internal firm dynamics. I am truly grateful for her impartial advice and her willingness to be available as a resource.”
-Associate, AmLaw 100 firm

 “I worked with Justine in my search for a new firm as a third-year associate and found her to be very helpful.  She provided information on multiple non-public postings, she was able to land me interviews at every firm where I applied, and she assisted me with interview preparation, which was particularly useful because lateral interviews aren’t nearly the same as on-campus interviews.  Justine knew what types of questions I would and wouldn’t get asked and worked with me to develop thoughtful answers.  Moreover, Justine provided candid advice about the reputation and work/life balance at the firms that were hiring, and she steered me away from places that didn’t have the type of work and environment that I sought.  I ultimately ended up at a better-ranked firm with much more interesting work, higher compensation, and superior exit options (in-house and government), and I’m grateful to Justine and the entire team at Garrison & Sisson for guiding me through the lateral hiring process.”
-Associate, AmLaw 100 firm

“Justine took a high-information approach and focused on my experiences and talents to create a detailed profile.  She applied her experience in legal practice and customized her advice to me based on a deep knowledge of the firms and practices I was considering joining, and made me stand out to firms’ recruiters by showing her work.  I got interviews everywhere she targeted that had an opening, and choose between multiple offers.  I highly recommend her whenever I hear that somebody is considering a lateral move.”
-Associate, AmLaw 100 firm

“I would never have made the move to another law firm without Justine. She patiently took the time to understand who I am and my career goals in order to know what the best and right fit would be for me. In working with Justine, I quickly learned she has invaluable insight into the hiring market, each firm’s culture, and the decision-makers at firms. She made it easy to be comfortable with her and I was able to trust and rely on her throughout the process. One year later, I’m still pleased with the move because it is the right fit.”
-Associate, Magic Circle firm