Jennifer M. Oertel

Jennifer Miller Oertel is a shareholder in the law firm of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, PC where she leads the firm's Tax-exempt Organizations and Impact Investing Group. With a background in private and public securities regulation, private equity and mergers & acquisitions, Jennifer utilizes her corporate law and governance skills to assist family and corporate foundations, community foundations, public charities, regional associations, trade and labor associations, chambers of commerce, religious organizations and other tax-exempt organizations as well as impact investors, impact funds, and social enterprises, in all aspects of their business.

Jennifer serves as co-chair of the Nonprofit Corporations Committee (Business Law Section) of the State Bar of Michigan, which holds the responsibility of reviewing and updating the state's laws governing nonprofit corporations in addition to reviewing legislation that regulates the solicitation of charitable contributions. Council of Michigan Foundations recently appointed Jennifer as the first-ever Expert In Residence to lead efforts to further develop and support Michigan's impact investing ecosystem, and she has also been engaged by national groups to design a framework to advance the impact investing ecosystem across the country. Jennifer was appointed by the Council on Foundations as legal reviewer for the National Standards Board and was the founding Vice Chair of the Michigan chapter of Social Enterprise Alliance. She is one of five judges of "Crain's Best Managed Nonprofits" and regulary judges social enterprise business plan competitions. Elected as a "Leader in the Law" and to "dBusiness Top Lawyers" and "Superlawyers," Jennifer serves on the Impact Investing committee of the Council of Michigan Foundations as well as the Impact Investing Advisory Committee of the Case Foundation in DC. In 2015, Jennifer's impact investing practice was highlighted by National Law Journal in electing Jaffe as one of 20 firms across the country (the only one in Michigan) to its "Mid-Size Hotlist."

Jennifer is highly proficient in Spanish, has a background in social work and evaluation, and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. She has spoken and published both locally and nationally on impact investing and philanthropy and has served as a trustee of several for-impact organizations, winning many awards for her volunteerism.

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Massachusetts

Published Works

  • "Advanced Business Issues: Acquisitions of LLC's," Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2002)
  • "DO THIS:NOT THAT, Avoiding Pitfalls in Nonprofit Practice" Michigan Business Law Journal, feature, 2012
  • "Sophisticated Issues in Entertainment Law: Raising the Money," Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2002)
  • "Is Manure Hazardous?" Michigan Farm News

Honors & Awards

  • dBusiness Top Lawyers 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law 2015
  • Michigan Super Lawyer 2012, 2017
  • Community Legal Resources Volunteer Lawyer of the Year
  • Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Delta—Member
  • National Congressional Scholar
  • Super Lawyers magazine Michigan Rising Star 2011

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Nonprofit Corporations Committee, Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan - Co-Chair
  • State Bar of Michigan—Member
  • Massachusetts Bar Association—Member
  • Business Bar Association Nonprofit Organizations Subcommittee—Member
  • Boston Bar Association Task Force on Professional Challenges—Former Member


  • Child Safe Michigan, Board Member, Executive Committee Member
  • Shepherd of the Lakes - Genesis Outreach Ministry Steering Committee