Jennifer Bonjean, ’85 Immanuel graduate, has continued to spread her passion for the arts and her drive to change society since her school days. Before she was using her words to fight for others, she was using them to provide joy as well as entertainment. Bonjean’s fondest memories from her Immanuel days were centered around music, theater, and the arts. She explained, “While I probably did not appreciate it at the time, I had a strong sense of pride in our choral performances, whether we were singing at weekly services or at competitions. I will never forget playing Emily in our class production of “Our Town”.
Her passion for music drove her to attend DePaul University for a Bachelors in music and to continue until she received her Master’s degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music. There, she studied opera and had the opportunity to perform in productions such as the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart and Carmen by Bizet. During her spare time, Bonjean had gigs and competitions to keep her occupied. She said, “I loved living in New York City, learning and studying my trade with some of the most talented musicians in the country. Very few people are lucky enough to be able to spend a good chunk of their life studying music or the arts, and I am exceptionally grateful for that time.”
While at the Manhattan School of Music, Bonjean felt a push to do something more meaningful socially. She began volunteering at the Rape Crisis Center, and eventually became employed at the YMCA-Women’s Services. Her desire to be an advocate for social change eventually drove her to attend law school at Loyola. Now, she is a criminal defense attorney. While her favorite words to hear are a “not guilty” from the jury, she especially enjoys the cases where she gets wrongful convictions overturned.
Jennifer Bonjean is now the owner and founder of Bonjean Law Group, PLLC. Her passion and tenacity drive her to fight for individuals who have been wronged by the criminal justice system. Bonjean works tirelessly to reverse the convictions of innocent people wrongly incarcerated. She is committed to exposing police and prosecutorial misconduct that often leads to wrongful convictions. In 2014 the Chicago Innocence Project awarded Bonjean the Humanitarian of the Year Award for her work on Stanley Wrice’s appeal. Bonjean is a member of the New York, New Jersey and Illinois bars. She has been admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States District Court for New Jersey, the second, fifth, seventh, and eleventh circuit courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States. She has argued before the second, seventh, and fifth circuits. Bonjean is also a regular guest on FOX News, CNN, Investigation Discovery, truTV and Court TV.
We couldn’t be more proud of all the work you have done, Jennifer! We love to clip the articles about you from the newspaper and display them in the hallway. You are an inspiration to many. Keep up the good work!