Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month – November 2016
Emily Ellis of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Emily Ellis is an Associate at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and member of their Litigation Department. She received her undergraduate degree in Communications and Dance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her law degree from the University of La Verne, College of Law. Emily is a native of Las Vegas and has been practicing law for over five years. Prior to joining Brownstein Hyatt, she worked as a law clerk for the Honorable James C. Mahan, the Honorable Lawrence Leavitt, and the Honorable Cam Ferenbach.
Since 2013, Emily has accepted 5 new pro bono cases through Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and has focused her pro bono service on representing children in abuse and neglect cases. She also contributed over 100 pro bono hours on a inmate rights appeal referred through the Nevada Pro Bono Appellate Program. Emily is fortunate to work in a firm that supports pro bono service and is dedicated in giving back to the community.
When we asked Emily why she does pro bono work, she responded that pro bono is a way to truly help those who are in the greatest need in our community – innocent children. While she values the work she does at her firm, it is not the same feeling as when she meets with a pro bono client for the first time. She feels as if she has taken on their pain and is there to ensure they have a say in the outcome of their lives. Knowing she can play a small role in ensuring that a child has the opportunity to have a beautiful, happy, and healthy life, is incredible.
Emily recalls a memorable case in which she represented two young children who were physically abused by two different men in their mother’s life. The children wanted desperately to return to their mother’s care but DFS insisted placement with their mother was unsafe, even though she was a non-offending parent, had engaged in services, and ended the relationship with the abuser. Emily’s strong advocacy on behalf of the children’s wishes made the ultimate difference in this case. After several hearings and team meetings, including preparation for a termination of parental rights hearing, the children were reunified with their mother.
For her commitment to representing the rights and wishes of children in foster care, we honor Emily Ellis as the November Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.