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Biography of Attorney Jennifer I. Peyton

Jenna Peyton was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in La Jolla, a small town in San Diego County.  While in high school at The Bishop’s School, she started to study Spanish, and when she was 16, she traveled to Argentina, where she refined her Spanish speaking ability.  Based on this living experience in Argentina, and her origins in California, she speaks Spanish fluently. 

After graduating from high school, Jenna continued her international studies, and lived in Udine, Italy.  While there, she attended a public high school, and visited historic cities in Italy, including Venice, Rome, Milan and Florence.

Upon her return, Jenna started her college studies at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut.  There, she focused on Russian Literature and Language, and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature.  During her junior year, Jenna lived and studied in Irkutsk, Siberia, a part of Russia, in the Former Soviet Union.   She lived with a Russian host family, and intensively studied the Russian language.  During this year, Jenna visited to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Minsk (in Belorus).  Over the course of her year there, she traveled on the trans-Siberian railroad from Moscow to Irkutsk, and then from Vladivostok to Irkutsk. Upon her return from Russia, Jenna graduated from Trinity College, and was awarded the Russian Book Prize for scholastic excellence.

In 1995, Jenna moved to Cleveland, Ohio, fell in love with the city, and started at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.  In law school, she researched and edited with Professor Arthur Austin, Edgar Hahn Professor of Contracts.  She was also a member of the Journal of International Law, and Health-Matrix:  Journal of Law Medicine.  She graduated in 1998, passed the Ohio State Bar and was sworn in to practice law on November 9, 1998.  Shortly after passing the Bar, Jenna was married to Tim Peyton, and is the proud mother of two young daughters. 

In May 2003, Jenna opened her own law firm, now located at 2012 West 25th Street, Suite 407, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.    The law office is close to the West Side Market and located in a thriving immigrant community.  Jenna happily practices immigration, naturalization, criminal, domestic and general law for her varied clientele.  She welcomes initial consultations, for which there is no charge.  In 2006, she was appointed Adjunct Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University, where she teaches the Immigration Law Practicum I and II.  In 2013, she was appointed Clinical Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.  Her excellence in teaching was recognized in April 2013, when she was awarded the Judge Richard M. Markus Prize for Excellence in Teaching. 

She speaks Spanish and Russian, and some Italian.

Jenna is a member of AILA (American Immigration Lawyer’s Association), and has practiced before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, Board of Immigration Appeals, Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division), Sixth Circuit, Eighth District Court of Appeals, and Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas (Domestic Relations, Criminal Division and Civil Division), as well as Cleveland Municipal Court and other courts in Ohio.  In 2006, she was awarded the Volunteer Lawyers Program - Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award from the Cleveland Legal Aid Society.  The Domestic Violence Center awarded her the “Break the Silence” award in 2007.  She is President of the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Mediation Center, and heavily involved with the C. Lyonel Jones Pro Bono Committee of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society.  She is also a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park, Ohio, and a member of the school board of Messiah as well.


American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member

National Immigration Project, Member

Cleveland Mediation Center, President, Board of Directors

Nueva Luz, Urban Resource Center, Member of the Advisory Board

Adjunct Professor of Law, Case School of Law, Immigration Practicum I and II

C. Lyonel Jones Pro Bono Immigration Committee, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Member, Executive Board

Messiah Lutheran School, Fairview Park, OH, Member, Board of Directors


The Bishop's School, Leslie Sissman Evans Award, 1985

Book Award for Excellence in Russian, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, 1994

"Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award" Volunteer Lawyers Program of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland 2006

“Break the Silence” Award - The Domestic Violence Center 2007  

Judge Richard M. Markus Prize, awarded for excellence in adjunct teaching, Case School of Law, 2013

 Nominated "Best Lawyers in America" for Immigration, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2013

AILA Certificate of Achievement, Pro Bono Benefactor, AILA 2013 


"Beyond the Basics", The Ohio Judicial College: Ohio Association of Magistrates, September 22, 2011

Presented and prepared Mock Hearing at the Cleveland Immigration Court, Fall 2011

Presented on prosecutorial discretion at Cleveland Immigration Court to members of the private bar and  immigration judges 2011

Presented and prepared Mock Hearing at Cleveland Immigration Court, 2012
Ohio Chapter Events Help Clients and Attorneys   And   Voices of Pro Bono (JP Quote), AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter