Jennifer A. Clendenin






100 Court Avenue, Suite 600
Des Moines, IA 50309-2231


Jenifer Beard

Court Admissions

All Iowa Courts

U.S. District Courts – Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa


J.D. (High Honors), Drake University, 1997

B.A. (Cum Laude), University of Notre Dame, 1994

Bar Admissions

Iowa, 1997


Jennifer joined Ahlers & Cooney in 1997 and is a member of the firm’s Workers’ Compensation Practice Group, of which she had chaired for many years. The Group serves a broad base of both private and public clients, including self-insured employers, insured employers, workers’ compensation carriers and third-party administrators in both non-litigated matters and contested case proceedings before the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commission.

In conjunction with the labor and employment relations aspects of practice, she assists employers with ancillary concerns tied to workers' compensation claims, including return-to-work issues, terminations, ADA, FMLA, COBRA, OSHA and HIPAA concerns. She also has experience defending against bad-faith claims, unemployment claims, wrongful discharge claims, subrogation and Medicare/Medicaid issues that arise during the defense of a workers’ compensation case.  

Jennifer provides counseling and preventative advice concerning all aspects of the potential for workplace injury liability, including issues of authorization of medical care, alternate medical care options, acceptance and denial of claims, and administration of benefits. She assists her clients in pre-litigated preventative matters, including development of workers’ compensation policies and procedures, training programs for supervisors, and assistance in the investigation of complaints.

Jennifer was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she returned to Iowa to attend Drake University Law School. At Drake Law School, she graduated Order of the Coif and served on the editorial staff of the Drake Law Review. Jennifer was elected to the Order of the Barristers and was a member of the Insurance Law Moot Court Team.

Representative Projects

  • Successfully defended a national employer against companion worker's compensation and retaliatory discharge claims. The workers' compensation action was tried to the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commission and resulted in a finding of no liability. Following the administrative ruling on the workers’ compensation claim, the Iowa District Court for Polk County granted summary judgment on entirety of companion retaliatory discharge claim. Both decisions were upheld on appeal.
  • Defended an employer in claim penalty benefits, mental health benefits and additional workers’ compensation schedule member benefits. The employee’s claim for penalty benefits was denied, no mental health injury was found, and the employer was awarded credit for an over payment of past workers’ compensation benefits paid.
  • Successfully defended numerous alternate medical care proceedings, resulting in employers’ continued control of employees’ medical care.
  • Provided onsite training to employers concerning the investigation of workers’ compensation claims, preventative measures directed to the reduction of workplace injuries, legislative updates and cost-effective recommendations for the defense of contested workers’ compensation matters.


American Bar Association

Polk County Bar Association


Best Lawyers in America© - Workers' Compensation Law - Employers (2015-2024)


Ahlers & Cooney, Employment Law Client Seminar, “Current Issues in Workers' Compensation” with Nick Pellegrin, November 2015

Ahlers & Cooney, Employment Law Client Seminar, “Top 10 Do's and Don'ts of Workers' Compensation” with Andrew Tice, “Medical Inquiries: Issues Arising Under the ADA, Workers' Compensation, GINA and FMLA” with Miriam Van Heukelem and Steve Nadel, November 2011

Professional, Community and Civic Leadership

United Way of Central Iowa, Ahlers & Cooney Campaign Committee

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Homeless and Hungry Committee

St. Joseph Food Shelter, Volunteer

St. Francis of Assisi, Volunteer Volleyball Coach (2015)

Dowling High School, Sophomore Volleyball Team Parent (2017)

Girl Scouts of America, Brownie Troop 812 Volunteer

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, Volunteer (2008)