March 31, 2017

Member Spotlight: Donna Jackson

Donna Jackson

Donna Jackson, an attorney and CPA, specializes in estate planning and elder law. She is the 2013 recipient of the Earl Sneed Award for her contribution to legal education in Oklahoma.

Tell us a little bit about your career.

I have been a CPA since 1981. I started law school in 1984 and began practicing in 1988. I wanted to become an attorney to become an estate planner. When I was a kid, I kept hearing farmers say that they would lose everything to the government when they died. It just wasn't right!

Is it what you had planned when you started law school?

I planned to go into estate planning when I started law school. When I was at Oklahoma State University, I started out majoring in Pre-Law. I did not want a political science degree. I fell in love with accounting. I became a CPA and went into public accounting in 1982. I decided to focus on becoming an attorney, which is what I dreamed about as a kid.

What has been the highlight of your career?

I like estate planning and elder law. I think we should give back to the profession. I have been lecturing for 30 years on taxes, probate, estate planning and elder law. In 2013, I received the Earl Sneed Award from the Oklahoma Bar Association for my contribution to legal education in Oklahoma.

If you could go back to the beginning of your legal career, would you have done anything differently?

No. Things work out for a reason!

What advice would you give to someone considering law school today?

If someone has always wanted to be an attorney, they should follow their dream. Being an attorney is not about money. It is a passion!

What were the biggest changes you saw in the legal profession over the course of your career?

Computers and the internet have changed the practice of law. I foresee virtual law offices in our future.

When did you first become a member of the ABA and why did you decide to join?

I joined the American Bar Association in 1984 when I started law school. I joined the Senior Lawyers Division of the ABA because of my focus on seniors, elder law and estate planning.

What has been the highlight of your work with the ABA?

The highlight of working with the ABA is meeting people from all over the country.

If you had not become a lawyer, what do you think you would have done?

I always wanted to be an actress on Guiding Light! 

Donna Jackson

Donna J. Jackson, CPA, JD, LLM, is the principal at Donna J. Jackson & Associates in Oklahoma City. Her practice focuses on estate planning and tax law, and she has a deep experience with estate planning, including trusts, wills, and business succession planning.