James B. Conroy


James Conroy is a highly respected litigator and problem solver known for bringing practical, effective solutions to employment litigation and counseling, resolving complex business disputes, and navigating internal and institutional investigations.

A co-founder of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, Jim has argued countless cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He also represents individuals and businesses before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. He is a trusted counselor regarding legal issues and disputes that can arise in the employer-employee relationship, and has investigated and litigated the full range of allegations of workplace wrongdoing.

Jim is respected as an effective litigation strategist with full command of the facts, the applicable laws and regulations, and the business objectives of his clients. Whether he is pursuing remedies in court or achieving prompt, cost-effective resolutions through negotiation, Jim has a reputation for working collaboratively and efficiently with all parties to a dispute while fiercely advocating on his client’s behalf.

Before joining the bar, Jim worked on House and Senate staffs in Washington, D.C. as a press secretary, speech writer and chief of staff. He earned his law degree, magna cum laude, at the Georgetown University Law Center and holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the Suffolk University Law School in Boston. A former Naval Reservist, Jim is a champion for pro bono and volunteer service. He currently serves on the Town of Hingham's Community Preservation Committee and its Historical Commission.

Jim has been honored for many consecutive years as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and has authored articles published in the Massachusetts Law Review and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. He is an elected fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and an award winning author of two widely acclaimed books chronicling the Lincoln presidency: Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865 (a finalist for the annual Lincoln Prize for the best book of the year on Lincoln or the Civil War), and Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime, which won the Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute's annual book award.


  • Obtained a groundbreaking injunction from a Federal District Court judge, upheld by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, barring the forced retirement at age 60 of more than 100 Massachusetts State Troopers, followed by summary judgment in their favor and the substitution of a fitness testing regimen for a mandatory retirement age. Won a second federal trial court victory upheld by the First Circuit in a related case.
  • Won a two week jury trial for a convenience store chain accused of unlawful discrimination by a former franchisee.
  • Obtained a functionally dispositive judicial ruling on a crucial issue of law for a veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor who had written about it 50 years later and been sued for libel by the officer who commanded his gun turret.
  • On behalf of a prominent employer, proved to a Federal District Court, through expert testimony, that a disciplined employee had violated the court's order to hand over relevant evidence.
  • Litigated hundreds of commercial and employment disputes in state and federal courts, appeals, arbitrations and mediations
  • Represented dozens of employers and employees in a wide range of industries in litigation to enforce non-competition agreements and avoided many lawsuits by negotiating reasonable resolutions.
  • Represented many employers and employees in sexual harassment cases and regularly advise employers on sexual harassment policies and compliance with the law.
  • Advise a wide range of small, medium and large companies in their hiring, firing and human resources policies and practices.



  • JD, magna cum laude, Georgetown University, 1982
  • MA, George Washington University (International Affairs), 1977
  • BA, University of Connecticut, 1975