Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Ms. Donnelley grew up and graduated from high school in Guilford, Connecticut. Ms. Donnelley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy, Analysis, and Planning from the University of California Davis, then enlisted in the United States Army. Ms. Donnelley completed the Polish Basic Course with honors at the Defense Language Institute, and was then assigned to Field Station Augsburg in Germany as a signal intelligence analyst. Ms. Donnelley attained the rank of Sergeant before being honorably discharged from the Army after nearly four years of service.
Ms. Donnelley earned her law degree from the University of Oregon in 1990, Order of the Coif. While a law student, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Western Environmental Law Update, and as Student Works Editor of the Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation.
Ms. Donnelley was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1990 and the Alaska Bar Association in 1991. Her first legal job brought her to Alaska to serve as a law clerk to the late Alaska Supreme Court Justice Allen Compton. Ms. Donnelley then clerked for the Alaska Superior Court from 1991-1993 before entering private practice. Ms. Donnelley practiced in the areas of public lands, Indian law, and civil litigation, including class action litigation, until 1999.
Ms. Donnelley became a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in 1999 and has concentrated her practice on immigration and naturalization law since that time. She established herself as a partner in her previous law firm in 2001, then in January of 2012 opened her current firm, Law Office of Lisa H. Donnelley, LLC.
Ms. Donnelley is admitted to practice before the Alaska Supreme Court and all state courts in Alaska, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In addition, Ms. Donnelley is authorized to appear in proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals).
Ms. Donnelley is a member of the Alaska Bar Association, the Oregon Bar Association, and the Anchorage Bar Association and she has been a board member of the Anchorage Bar Association since 2015.