Attorney McDonnell graduated from Scranton Prep in 1998 and received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Lehigh University in 2002. During his junior year of college, he completed the Washington Semester Program at American University in Washington, D.C. and interned at the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. In his senior year of college, Attorney McDonnell traveled to Hong Kong and mainland China with Lehigh’s Martindale Center of the College of Business and Economics. There, he met with various government and business leaders and gathered data on the impact of economic restructuring on Hong Kong’s workforce. His research was published in the Martindale Center’s journal, Perspectives on Business and Economics. As a President’s Scholar at Lehigh he earned a tuition-free fifth year, which he used to attain a master’s degree in political science in 2003.
Following Lehigh, he received a full scholarship to Penn State University, The Dickinson School of Law. During law school, Attorney McDonnell was a member of the Penn State Law Review. As a law student, he interned at the Governor’s Policy Office in Harrisburg, was a summer law clerk for Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Sr. of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and was a Summer Associate at HKQ Law. He also studied abroad at the University of Florence School of Law.
Attorney McDonnell graduated from The Dickinson School of Law in May 2006 and passed the Pennsylvania Bar Examination in July 2006 on his first attempt. After graduating from law school, he chose to return home to Northeastern Pennsylvania and serve the community where he was raised. He began working for HKQ Law as an associate in August 2006 and has remained here ever since. He is a principal on the firm’s Personal Injury Team. His practice concentrates on personal injury including workers' compensation, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice cases. Since becoming a lawyer, he has worked exclusively on behalf of accident victims and their families.
Attorney McDonnell is admitted to practice in the courts throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.
In his spare time, Attorney McDonnell has volunteered with the Scranton Council of Literacy Advance (SCOLA)/United Neighborhood Centers as a certified English as a Second Language (ESL) and adult literacy tutor. He also coaches soccer with Abington Youth Soccer League. He and his wife have two daughters and reside in Clarks Summit.