Burnside Johnston Connor & Jensen

618/2833260; 618/6649202

A General Practice Law Firm Serving Southern Illinois Since 1883

Jack Johnston

Jack Johnston is the senior partner of Burnside, Johnston, Connor & Jensen, providing his services to the firm since 1962. Jack joined as a partner alongside Robert G. Burnside and Joe Dees approximately 7 years later, in 1969.

Jack grew up in what is now a suburban area Northwest of Chicago. He graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from DePauw University. During his time at DePauw, Jack was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and graduated Cum Laude.  Jack attended law school at the University of Illinois, graduating in 1962 and was admitted to the Bar later that same year, having been sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hershey in a private ceremony necessitated by his military service in the United States Army during 1962 and 1963. His present areas of concentration include but are not limited to, probate, wills and trusts, real estate, civil litigation and municipal law.

In 2013, Jack was honored with The Highest Possible Rating in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards award by Martindale-Hubbell. When Jack is not working, he enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and gardening.  He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Kaskaskia College Foundation for over 35 years and recently retired from serving as President. He has been an active member of Rotary International for 47 years. In previous years, he was an active member and president of the Vandalia Jaycees, the Vandalia Youth Organization, Historical Vandalia, Inc., and The United Way.


T. Ryan Connor

T. Ryan Connor grew up in Belleville, Illinois. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri and immediately enrolled in the New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating in 2008. He was admitted to the Illinois bar, as well as both the Central and Southern federal District Courts that same year.

Ryan joined the Burnside Law Firm as an associate in 2009 and became a partner with Jack Johnston and Don Sheafor in 2013.

His areas of concentration are civil litigation, matrimonial law and criminal defense. The firm has a significant municipal practice wherein he is also active, handling both litigation and counsel to municipal offices.

Ryan is a member of the Illinois State, Bond County and Fayette County Bar Association. When Ryan is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.


Keith Jensen

Keith Jensen grew up in Normal, Illinois, completed his undergraduate work at Illinois Wesleyan, and then obtained his law degree from Washington University School of Law in 1976 and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1977. Keith has had a diverse practice involving both civil and criminal litigation.

His civil practice has included personal injury representation, acting as municipal counsel for Pontoon Beach and Granite City, and a broad spectrum of other civil litigation matters. On the criminal litigation side, Keith served as a Special Prosecutor for the Illinois Assistant Attorney General serving in the Homicide-Violent Crime Task Force from 1991 – 1999.  In 1997 he switched his focus to the Jensen Law Firm where he was the sole practitioner. In 2003 he began serving full time as General Counsel for the Illinois State Police. In 2007 he was appointed as an Associate Judge in the Third Judicial Circuit serving until his retirement in 2014.

Keith joined Jack Johnston and T. Ryan Connor in the practice of Law in the Fall of 2014 and became a principal of Burnside, Johnston, Connor and Jensen in 2015. His practice is concentrated in civil litigation, family law and criminal defense.

Keith has received several awards in recognition of his extraordinary services to the Illinois State Police. When Keith is not working, he enjoys searching for antique vehicles to restore and drive.