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Alum receives lifetime excellence award

Mary Jo Quinn has taken an unexpected track to becoming a successful investment attorney, with a theme of service to others remaining a constant along the way.

Her career began as one would expect following her UW-Eau Claire graduation in 1977 with a special education degree, when for seven years she was a special education teacher at public schools in Loyal, Wisconsin, and Littleton, Colorado. She then decided to attend law school, hoping to eventually lobby for disability issues when working as an investment attorney. After receiving her juris doctor degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, she worked at firms in Washington, D.C., and Chicago for eight years before joining Allstate Insurance in 1996.

At Allstate, Quinn has held several leadership positions in various divisions. Now, as vice president and assistant general counsel in Allstate’s Investments and Business Transactions Law Division, she leads a team of lawyers providing legal services to Allstate’s portfolio of over $80 billion.

Quinn also volunteers as Allstate’s relationship manager with Cabrini Green Legal Aid. In that role, she organized the training of more than 65 Allstate lawyers to join her in volunteering with CGLA, which gives low-income clients a second chance through expungement and clemency. She arranged for donations of more than $100,000 from Allstate to support the effort, and she has recruited other corporations to join them in their work.