Partner Felicia Ellsworth is Elected to the American Law Institute

Partner Felicia Ellsworth is Elected to the American Law Institute

Felicia Ellsworth was among 68 highly accomplished attorneys, judges, and legal scholars worldwide, and the only one based in Massachusetts, recently elected to membership in the American Law Institute.

Ms. Ellsworth, a widely respected member of WilmerHale’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice and Business Trial Group who is also co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, has earned increased recognition in recent years for her work and victories in high-profile trials and appeals.

From her practice based in WilmerHale’s Boston office, she has represented clients across the United States in commercial disputes on issues ranging from antitrust, real property disputes, business torts, administrative law and procedure, and constitutional law. She has also represented clients in both civil and criminal appeals involving patent infringement, constitutional law, and criminal law and procedure.

Most recently, in October 2018 she played a key role on the WilmerHale team representing Harvard University in the closely-watched trial challenging Harvard’s use of race in its undergraduate admissions process in US District Court in Boston.

Also in 2018, she was on the team representing the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts state trial and appellate courts, a representation that led to a victory that allowed the institution to sell several paintings it owned, including two famous works by Norman Rockwell, in order to raise money to secure the museum’s survival.

Among her recent pro bono work, Ms. Ellsworth helped a Cameroonian who fled persecution win asylum and permanent resident status in 2018 after a 14-year ordeal in the US immigration system.

Ms. Ellsworth was also very active in the years-long legal fight to end the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down in 2013 in United States v. Windsor. She was part of the WilmerHale team that represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when, in 2009, it became the first state to mount a challenge to the now defunct law, and in 2013, she wrote an amicus brief for dozens of government officials that urged the Supreme Court to overturn the controversial law.

In 2017, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly listed Ms. Ellsworth among its Top Women of Law. The year before, Law360 named her one of its Rising Stars, one of only five trial lawyers then under 40 nationally selected for that honor.

ALI describes itself as the “leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law.” Its elected membership is limited to 3,000 lawyers, including practitioners, federal and state judges, legal scholars, and other legal professionals.