Part-time Faculty A-M
Sara L. Ellis
Title: Schiff Hardin LLP, Counsel
Sara L. Ellis is a trial attorney. She concentrates her practice in complex civil and criminal litigation. She has extensive experience in representing clients charged with federal white collar crimes from the target stage of the investigation through the appellate process. Ms. Ellis has argued before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She also has extensive experience in representing municipal corporations in complex Section 1983 civil rights litigation, including class actions for injunctive relief.
Prior to joining Schiff Hardin, Ms. Ellis was a supervisor at the City of Chicago's Department of Law in the Police Policy Division where she represented the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department in
Section 1983 policy litigation. Her cases involved complex policy claims against the City, including class claims for injunctive relief. While at the Corporation Counsel's Office, Ms. Ellis successfully resolved a class action lawsuit brought by witnesses who claimed that they were unlawfully detained. She also successfully stayed policy litigation in a case brought the parents of a woman who was injured by falling out of a CHA high rise building after having been released from Chicago Police Department custody.
Earlier, Ms. Ellis was an associate with Stetler & Duffy, Ltd., a boutique white collar litigation firm where she represented both individuals and corporations charged with white collar crimes. Ms. Ellis started her career as a staff attorney at the Federal Defender Program in Chicago, Illinois, where she had extensive federal trial experience. While at the Federal Defender, Ms. Ellis successfully persuaded the U.S. Attorney's Office to withdraw a mandatory life sentence notification for her client following his
conviction for drug offenses after a six-month trial. She defended clients charged with a variety of crimes from drug and gun offenses to complex tax, mail and wire fraud offenses. She has significant experience negotiating plea agreements and working with the Sentencing Guidelines.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law (JD, 1994)
President, Public Interest Law Society
Loyola Leadership and Service Award
Indiana University (BA, Political Science and Religious Studies, 1991)
Professional & Community Affiliations
Chicago Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
White Collar Crime and Corporate Compliance
Federal Defender Special Recognition Award