John “Jay” W. Alberstadt, Jr. received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, magna cum laude from Gannon University in 1976. While at Gannon, Jay was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, served in student government and was a sports reporter for the Gannon Knight. He went on to attend the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, graduating with his juris doctorate degree in 1979. For the next 30 years, Jay practiced with the Erie law firm of Quinn, Buseck, Leemhuis, Toohey, and Kroto. Following in the footsteps of his father, who was an accounting professor at Gannon, Jay served as an adjunct faculty member at Gannon from 1980 to 1994, lecturing in business law.
Since 2009, Jay has been a partner at the MacDonald, Illig, Jones, and Britton law firm in Erie, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate, commercial and economic development, and conventional and tax-exempt financing. Jay provides legal services to individuals, business entities, lending institutions, municipal authorities and development agencies. He handles matters ranging from residential real estate transactions to detailed title and development issues. Jay also represents borrowers, lenders, and conduit financing agencies in commercial financing and tax-exempt municipal, industrial development and 501(c)(3) bond issues. He is chair of MacDonald Illig’s real estate practice group and the marketing committee. Jay served as president of the Erie County Bar Association in 2010. His professional recognitions include receipt of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Services Award in 1988, the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award in 2008, and the Erie County Bar Association President's Award in 2012.
Along with his love of family and dedication to his clients, Jay is passionate about service to his church and his community. He has served as both a member and president of the boards of Northwestern Legal Services, Catholic Charities Counseling and Adoption Services, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Erie, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Early Connections, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, and the Erie County Bar Foundation. Jay has also been a director of the John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, the Erie County Historical Society, Perseus House, and L’Arche of Erie. He served multiple terms as a member of the pastoral council of his former parish, Our Lady of Mercy in Harborcreek. Currently, he is the president-elect of the board of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network in Harrisburg and is a member of the board of trustees of Mercyhurst Preparatory School. Furthering his service to Gannon and the Erie community, he and other members of his family established the Alberstadt Family Endowed Scholarship.
In 2014, Jay and his wife, Ruth, were honored as recipients of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Erie Helping Hands Award. They are the proud parents of Ben Alberstadt, Nick Alberstadt, Stephen Nemenz ’11M and Melissa Nemenz ’03, and grandparents of their lovely granddaughter, Mia. They reside in Fairview and are parishioners at Saint Jude the Apostle Church.