Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2022

Additionally, Ellie hosts the Free by Design™ television show, You Are Not Your Scars® podcast, and Creating an Impervious Mind® expert YouTube series. She is regularly interviewed in publications and on others’ podcasts and television shows, including NBC, ABC, CBS, the New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo News, the LA Tribune, and TED Ed, to name a few. An outspoken advocate fighting against injustice, Ellie is proud to serve on the leadership councils and advisory boards of nonprofits focused on civil rights, human rights, criminal justice reform, disaster recovery, fighting human trafficking, and ending mass atrocities. Having overcome a lifetime of adversity, including domestic violence, homelessness, and cancer, Ellie has used her experiences to fuel her determination to drive change. From teenage mall employee to trusted advisor to governments, universities, corporations, and NGOs to becoming a member of the United States Supreme Court bar, Ellie has spent decades cultivating the expertise in law, business, education, and advocacy that she now shares with her clients. USA Discrimination&HumanRights Lawyer of theYear How did you first become interested in law and advocacy? And how did your interest evolve? From the time I was three years old, I wanted to be Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She had not become a Supreme Court Justice yet, but I wanted to be her because she was a trailblazing female attorney using her voice as an instrument for change. Listening to her was powerful, profound, and resonant. She was one of the first women attorneys to successfully fight against injustice. Unfortunately, back then, women—especially from ethnic minority backgrounds—did not have a platform or many opportunities to be heard. So Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, to me, even as a young child, a shining example of standing up and speaking up when you see something that is not right. In elementary school, my nickname was Defender— because when I saw something happening that was not okay, I always said something. When I saw someone being bullied, I stepped in and spoke up. When I saw someone being treated differently, I stepped in and spoke up. When the boys wouldn’t let the girls play, I stepped in and spoke up! I knew that I could use my voice to call out injustice. My voice gave me my power. Becoming a lawyer and advocate was a natural fit and a way that I could align my career with my values. As I got deeper into my career, I realised that other people—in particular, women, minorities, and the underrepresented—often felt like they did not have a voice or could not use it. And I decided that instead of just advocating on their behalf, why not help them find, claim, and use their voice?! That led to my parallel roles of coaching, consulting, and corporate training. Every one of us has a voice and can use it to advocate for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our missions. But for many of us, it is not modelled nor encouraged. I use my voice to guide others to use theirs. It’s a ripple effect. 15

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