Hannah Ellis, ’21
Sidley Austin, Chicago
Early on in law school, Hannah Ellis realized she was more interested in the problem solving of corporate law than in legal theory or litigation. “I have always wanted to be the person that someone calls when they’re dealing with a difficult situation; someone who can ask questions and help work through potential solutions—I like the idea of being a counselor in that way,” she says.
Ellis worked for a startup in Chicago during her 1L summer due to her interest in the intersection of technology and law. While there, she worked directly with their general counsel. “I learned that clients count on you to respond in a timely fashion with a thorough reply because they have business goals they’re working toward,” she says. “Working in-house, your client is sitting next to you, so you can see the impact of your work and watch your advice in action.”
In the classroom, Ellis’ professors blended doctrine with the tangible issues of corporate law in ways that, to her, made the classroom experience accessible and exciting. She learned to craft briefs in the Innocence Clinic, but she most enjoyed interviewing witnesses and counseling clients over the phone, gaining real-world experience that will serve her in practice.
I chose Michigan Law because I wanted a law school that would genuinely invest in me, as a human being. I was hoping to find a community that truly cared if I succeeded."
“I chose Michigan Law because I wanted a law school that would genuinely invest in me, as a human being. I was hoping to find a community that truly cared if I succeeded. As the co-chair of Student Funded Fellowships, and as a scholarship recipient, I saw that generosity firsthand,” says Ellis. “Helping to raise money for public interest students during the pandemic made me view Michigan Law as more of a family. It was a difficult year, but there’s also a lot to be grateful for. Through it all, our community supports one another.”