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Elizabeth White McDonnell

Senior Attorney

Elizabeth (Beth) White McDonnell advises municipal clients including cities, villages, townships, and counties on issues involving every area of municipal management and served as Director of Municipal Affairs and Deputy City Attorney for the City of Grand Rapids.

Beth has been a municipal attorney for more than 20 years and has a strong background in parliamentary procedure, ordinance and policy drafting, public finance, FOIA, and Open Meetings Act issues. She has extensive experience with issues involving tax tribunal defense, intergovernmental agreements, governmental liability, elections, public pension systems, ethics and conflicts of interest, employee investigations and discipline.

Previously, Beth served as Corporation Counsel for Kalamazoo County and before that she served 15 years in the Grand Rapids City Attorney’s office as Assistant, Deputy, and Interim City Attorney while also serving as Director of Municipal Affairs. She served as counsel to more than 20 city departments, as well as various public boards and commissions, including the pension board, library board, zoning and planning boards, local officer’s compensation commission, civil service board, and historic preservation commission.

Beth has taught and lectured at Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University and has provided training to municipal employees on topics including Freedom of Information, Open Meetings, Contract Administration, First Amendment Audits, Legal Issues for Housing Inspectors, and Sewer Liability.


J.D., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 2000
B.A., University of Michigan, Michigan, 1988


Crain’s Grand Rapids Notable Women in Law (2024)

City of Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Award (2018)

City of Grand Rapids Team Achievement Award (2011)

University of Detroit Mercy Law School Alumni Association Award (2000)


Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys

Michigan Bar Association, Education and Outreach Committee

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., W.D. of Michigan