Catherine O’Donnell’s journey into the legal profession has its roots in her early childhood. While she was in 9th grade, her social studies teacher urged her to consider a career in law since Catherine liked to debate.
Attorney O’Donnell was born in South Charleston, West Virginia. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and also graduated cum laude from both the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Graduate School of Business with joint Juris Doctorate and Master of Business degrees.
After being admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar, Catherine began the practice of law at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in their personal tax department in 1988. Thereafter, she became an associate in the Scranton, Pennsylvania office of the then Philadelphia firm of Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kaufman. Shortly after that, the Scranton location became the office of Philadelphia-based Elliott Reihner Siedzikowski & Egan PC. During her employment there, she also served as the solicitor for the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Redevelopment Authority from 1996-2000.
In October, 2000, Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Ridge appointed Catherine to serve as district justice, and she was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania State Senate. She served until January, 2002 when she joined her husband, Attorney Neil O’Donnell, at O’Donnell Law Offices and remains today; her practice emphasizes estate planning and administration.
Attorney O’Donnell has been privileged to successfully represent and counsel a wide range of clients in her practice areas of estate planning, estate administration, elder law, social security appeals, social security disability and supplemental security income. She strives to provide each client the personal attention and dedication they deserve, making it her goal to understand completely their needs in their time of distress.
Catherine is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She has been an active member of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association from 1990-Present and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice from 2002-Present.
She has received several recognitions and honors, including being selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer from 2007-2009 and from 2011-2015, ALM Top Rated Estate and Trust Lawyer from 2013-2015, Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers from 2010-2015 and Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent Rating from 2002-2016. In 2015, she was named one of Rue Ratings Best Attorneys of America. In 2015, Catherine was awarded the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association President’s Award for her exemplary service to the County Bar and the practice of law.
Catherine is a past president of the Parents Association of Wyoming Valley Montessori School and also past president of the Parents Associations of the Lower and Upper Schools of Wyoming Seminary. She is a past president of St. Theresa’s Church in Wilkes-Barre. Catherine is an executive board member of Junior Leadership of Wilkes-Barre, a member of the United Way Cabinet and a board member of Dress for Success of Luzerne County. She lives in Shavertown, Pennsylvania with her husband Neil O’Donnell.
Admitted 1988, Pennsylvania
Professional Webpage: http://odonnell-law.com/our-team/catherine-r-odonnell/
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