High-school science prodigy. Collegiate
pharmacy student and plant-pathology
researcher. Undergraduate degrees in
communications and English.
Jenae Naumann’s route to the Tempe City
Attorney’s office was indeed a
University of Minnesota Law School,
followed by a judicial clerkship and a
stint as a high-powered litigator.
Instructor of paralegals at Phoenix
Mother to two young girls who longed for
more time with here children.
How Jenae Naumann got to be Tempe’s
“technology” attorney isn’t as important
as the conclusion – hers – that she has
finally found her place.
“I had always wanted to work here,” said
Naumann, a long-time Kyrene Corridor
resident who works part-time in the
Tempe City Attorney’s Office, overseeing
the city’s Wi-Fi and telecommunications
licenses, software licenses, patent
applications, trademarks, copyrights,
and other “intellectual property.”
On her desk is a file for a project
she’s been working on lately –
trademarking the city’s slogan, “Tempe:
The Smart Place to Be.”
How Naumann, 44, came to be here in
Tempe is a tale of a Montana farm girl
with surprising versatility.
An award-winning science student in high
school, Naumann was recruited to attend
the University of North Dakota, where
she pursued a pharmacy degree and worked
in her spare time as a researcher in
plant pathology, cross-breeding plants
at a cellular level.
Her family thought a pharmacist’s life
would be just fine, but somewhere along
the way, she changed course and ended up
graduating with twin degrees in
Communications and English.
That set her on the path toward a career
in journalism, but along the way came
law school at the University of
After two years of law school, Naumann
came to Arizona where she enrolled at
the Arizona State University College of
Law as a “visiting” student. She
finished her law classes at ASU, got her
degree from Minnesota, and set about
clerking for a judge here in Arizona.
So, it seemed that a career in the law
–not pharmacy and not journalism – would
be Naumann’s path. For several years,
she worked for a well-known Phoenix law
office, participating in complex
commercial litigation that had her
traveling around the country taking
depositions and making courtroom
It was a challenging, intense career –
and she was unhappy in it.
So she made another change, this time
leaving her litigation career for a
stint in the Scottsdale City Attorney’s
Office. That was a better fit. She
enjoyed the work, but soon realized that
two young daughters were more important
than a very good job, so she left
For a while, she taught night classes at
Phoenix College, teaching paralegals the
ins and outs of legal research and
But when a full-time teaching position
opened up, Naumann turned away.
Instead, she created the Naumann Law
Office and went to work out of her home.
Soon after, Tempe came calling and
Naumann finally reached “The Smart Place
Naumann recently was elected to the Government and Public Sector
Lawyers Division Council of the American
Bar Association for a three-year term.
The GPSLD advocates for public sector
and government lawyers, and promotes
fairness and excellence within the U.S.
“My election to the GPSLD Council, coupled with my position as this
year’s Chair of the E-Commerce &
Technology Section of the State Bar of
Arizona, gives me the opportunity to
highlight Tempe’s high interest in
technology, and the rapid development of
the southeast Valley as a leader in this
area,” Naumann said.
“I want to focus more national attention on what Tempe has to
offer, and perhaps try to bring the
GPSLD’s fall meeting here in the
Naumann is the picture of contentment in
her office, with technology magazines
like eWeek, Last Mile, and
NATOA on her desk. It’s been a
long journey from Montana but she is
happy to be here.
What about scientific research?
“Working in the lab is actually lonely,”
“I realized that while I am an assertive
person and a competitive person, I was
not confrontational,” she explains.
“Litigation is disguised warfare.”
“What I like about my job now it that it
is productive,” Naumann said. “I feel
like at the end of the day I’ve
“I have an opportunity to try to prevent
problems,” she said. “If it prevents
problems the city doesn’t get sued. If
the city doesn’t get sued, it doesn’t
cost the taxpayers.”
“At the end of the day, I feel good
about having helped the (Information
technology) Department by either solving
a problem or preventing a problem.”
With time left over to raise her