Jill R. Jensen-Welch

Of Counsel
Jill R. Jensen-Welch
Tel/Direct 1:
Tel/Main 1:
801 Grand Ave.
Suite 3700
Des Moines, IA 50309
Support Team

515.244.2600 x597




Jill Jensen-Welch practices primarily in employment law and civil litigation. She serves clients ranging from small start-ups to large national companies in a wide variety of industries.

Jill’s 16 years of human resources experience before law school informs her counseling of clients in contracts and restrictive covenants, policies and practices, employee relations matters, leaves, job analysis, pay structures, discipline, terminations, and training. In employment litigation, she handles administrative actions such as unemployment claims, civil rights charges, complaints and audits, as well as lawsuits from inception through appeals. Jill also conducts workplace investigations into a variety of issues, including allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation and more.

During Drake Law’s 150th anniversary celebration, Jill was recognized by peers, family, students and classmates as one of “150 in 150” for best demonstrating the values of the Law School and helping to shape Drake Law into what it is today.

Jill earned the SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) designation from the Human Resource Certification Institute in 1989, and Jill became a Senior Certified Professional of the Society for Human Resource Management in 2014.

Education & Background


  • J.D., Drake University Law School (High Honors, Order of the Coif, Drake Law Review, National Moot Court Team, Moot Court Board, ADR Society)
  • M.S., Drake University
  • B.A., Drake University (Magna Cum Laude)

Prior Experience

  • Spent 16 years as a human resources professional for various Des Moines employers (Principal Capital Management, Norwest Mortgage, Meredith Corporation, FDIC, State of Iowa) prior to attending law school.
  • Earned SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) designation from the Human Resources Certification Institute in 1989.

Honors & Awards

Chambers USA

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2008-2024 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Individual in the area of Labor & Employment in the state of Iowa.  Jill has drawn the following published commentary from the editors of Chambers USA:
    • 2009: “Jill Jensen-Welch brings her experience in the human resources sector to bear on all of her employment work.”
    • 2010: “Interviewees praise Jill Jensen-Welch’s ‘willingness to help, accessibility and responsiveness’ on labor and employment issues.”
    • 2011: “Jill Jensen-Welch is praised for her common-sense approach to employment law, helped by her having been a human resources executive before becoming an attorney.  Clients say: ‘She is knowledgeable, quick to identify the issues and really looks out for the client’s interests.'”
    • 2012: “Jill Jensen-Welch is a strong choice of counsel for her substantial insight in the field. Sources praise her as ‘very direct and straightforward – doesn’t beat around the bush.’ She recently acted as lead counsel for a consultancy firm in alleged breach of employment and wage litigation.”
    • 2013: “Jill Jensen-Welch is praised for her “solid, uncompromised judgment and decision making,” and for her ability to relate to and work with clients in various roles. She works with a diverse range of clients on employment law and civil litigation.”
    • 2016: "Jill is a highly respected attorney with expertise encompassing both advisory and contentious matters. Clients value her communication skills and point out that "she is able to speak to everyone at their level and that is critical."
    • 2017: "Jill is valued by clients for her commercial approach and is lauded as "very knowledgeable." Sources praise her ability to communicate complex legal issues in straightforward and simplified terms for management."
    • 2020: "Jill is very timely with her assistance and is careful to examine the things that will protect our company," reports an interviewee. "She offers broad experience in employment matters, including conducting workplace investigations, handling disputes and advising on employment policies and contracts."
    • 2021: "Jill is exceptionally well-versed in employment law and is able to provide all risk factors, as well as advise on the least risky option."
    • 2024: "Jill is an incredible resource and legal mind. Her humor and attention to detail make her an excellent partner." 

Best Lawyers

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2013-2024 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the following areas:
    • Litigation – Labor & Employment
    • Employment Law – Management

Drake Law’s “150 in 150”

  • Jill Jensen-Welch, LA’82, GR’94, LW’03
    • Recognized during Drake Law’s 150th anniversary celebration as one of 150 individuals (students, faculty, alumni and friends) who have best demonstrated the values of the Law School and helped shaped Drake Law into what it is today.

Litigation Counsel of America

  • Peer-selected from 2019 to Present as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America™, a diverse honorary society of trial lawyers vetted for their skills, expertise and service. 

Super Lawyers

  • Selected for inclusion to Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters since 2016.
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2013-2015 editions Great Plains Rising Stars List in the area of Employment & Labor.



Admitted to practice in the following states:

  • Iowa
  • Minnesota

Admitted to practice before the following federal courts:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Memberships & Activities

  • Iowa State Bar Association
    • Member, Labor & Employment Law Section
    • Member, Litigation Section
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Labor & Employment Law Section
    • Member, Litigation Section
  • Society for Human Resource Management
    • Designated as Senior Certified Professional since 2014
  • Human Resource Certification Institute
    • Designated at Senior Professional in Human Resources since 1989
  • Central Iowa Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management
  • Board of Directors, Better Business Bureau, 2009 – 2018
    • Strategic Planning Task Force, 2013 – 2018
    • Audit Committee Chair, 2014
    • Treasurer, 2016
    • Executive Counsel, 2016
  • C. Edwin Moore Inn of Court
    • Master
    • Consigliere, 2014 - 2015
    • President-Elect, 2015 - 2016
    • President, 2016-17
  • Lincoln Inne of Court
    • Member, 2016 - Present
  • Board of Directors, Arts for the City/After School Arts Program, 2015 – 2018
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Polk County Women Attorneys
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Member, Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Drake University Law School
    • Adjunct Professor, Employment Law Class, Fall 2014, Spring 2016
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
    • Graduate, Class of 2005-2006
  • Drake University President's Circle, Board Member

Articles, Presentations, and Publications