Michele R. Donato

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Michele R. Donato

Of Counsel

Phone: 732-462-7170
Fax: 732-462-8955

Practice Areas

Michele R. Donato has represented municipal agencies, developers and citizen groups throughout her career. Her practice is almost exclusively devoted to land use, historic preservation and environmental law.

Ms. Donato currently represents the Planning Boards in the Boroughs of Allentown and Roosevelt and was special counsel to several municipalities for land use, environmental and historic preservation matters.

Ms. Donato is General Counsel to New Jersey Planning Officials and Second Vice President for the Institute of Local Government Attorneys. She is an Adjunct Professor with Rutgers University, Bureau of Local Government Services, and she teaches and lectures frequently for organizations, universities and agencies throughout the region.

Ms. Donato participated in the prestigious Oxford University Roundtable. She received the Monsignor Harding Award of Merit from Saint Peter’s School. The League of Women Voters also honored her with an award for her work in preserving the environment.

Ms. Donato received the William M. Cox Award for Excellence in Land Use in 2013 and has been selected to Super Lawyers from 2011 to 2020 as a top rated land use and zoning lawyer.

Ms. Donato graduated from Rutgers Law School, where she was an editor of the Rutgers Law Review. She clerked for the Honorable Merritt Lane, Jr., who handled the prerogative writ calendar for Monmouth County.

Professional Associations

  • New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys
    • Trustee, Secretary and Treasurer (2008 – 2018)
  • New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys
    • Second Vice President (2019 – Present)
  • New Jersey Planning Officials
    • Assistant and Associate Counsel (1992 – 2012)
  • New Jersey Planning Officials
    • General Counsel (2012 – Present)
  • Preservation New Jersey
    • President (1990 – 1992)


Freehold, NJ
Monmouth County
Main Office