More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Jennifer Ellis
I am an attorney, but I do not currently practice law. Instead, I help other attorneys with their online marketing and technology. I also provide expert opinions relating to my areas of knowledge. At the moment I only work a very small amount due to health issues.
As a hobby, I enjoy answering people’s questions online. Why? I just like helping people. Though I cannot provide legal advice, I can share my knowledge, educate people about the law, and perhaps send them in the right direction to get the assistance they need. Your best bet is to ask me questions on Quora.
I was born in Long Island, New York and raised near Princeton, New Jersey, and Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I spent my law school years living in Delaware, and my first professional years living in the Harrisburg area. Now, I reside near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dogs & Cats
Now I have a huge, yellow, Labrador retriever named Curtis and a small lab/terrier mix named Millie. I adopted Curtis from a family when he was 8 weeks old. He is a common subject in my seminars and quite popular on Facebook. His posts are certainly funnier than mine.
Millie is from a Florida rescue. She was born prematurely to a bitch (female dog people, relax) with heartworms. As the runt of the litter, she had a rough time and was born blind in one eye. She is absolutely hilarious, stubborn and full of life. Her two favorite things in the world are harassing Curtis and cuddling.
I also have two cats. Rami is my eldest pet. She thinks she is a dog. Someone literally threw her out like she was trash and a friend gave her to me. Angelou was a tiny kitten, near death when I found her. She was living in a tree with her mom and a healthy sibling. I took her to some place or other and they told me they might put her to sleep. In shock, I asked why. They told me sometimes such cats never adapt to humans. I said will you call me first? They said no. So, I have Angelou. They were right. She isn’t big on humans. But she seems content and is very sweet, in her own way.
Yes, that is a lot of pets. Such is life. They give much more than they take.
When I was a child, my parents bred show dogs (Great Danes, Belgian Sheepdogs, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis). As a result, I was always around puppies and can whisper to dogs quite well, thank you. When I was about twelve I showed my dog, Scamper. I believe I showed him exactly two times. In the second show, I won best of breed over my father. I next won a group three (my dad won the group two with a Belgian Sheepdog). With this great success, I retired from the world of dog shows. Scamper retired too. He didn’t like being a show dog. We both knew when to quit.
I graduated from Widener University School of Law in Delaware (cum laude.) While at law school I won a bunch of awards, was in the top 11% of my class, and served as a member of Law Review and on the board of the Moot Court Honors Society. Prior to law school, I obtained a degree in English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I learned my computer skills while at Dickinson where I worked my way through school as a consultant in the microcomputer rooms.
Once I graduated law school, I went to work at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. At the time, PBI was the nonprofit continuing legal education arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. I spent 12.5 years at PBI, ending my time there as Associate Director of Media Technology. My job involved organizing seminars for other lawyers. My focus was on law practice management and technology, but I organized courses in virtually every area of law. It was also during this time that I began speaking to other lawyers upon the suggestion of my boss. I also taught Legal Methods at Widener Harrisburg (now Widener Law Commonwealth) for a year.
While at PBI, I volunteered my time with various organizations, including a GLBTQ youth group called Common Roads in Harrisburg. I spent time speaking at schools to make the leadership aware of the financial risks of failing to protect the students from bullying, as well as working with and being a mentor to the young people in the group. I am proud and honored to have had this experience. I also stood across the street from anti-gay protestors many times, including the folks who like to refer to themselves as God Hates Fags. I testified on behalf of Harrisburg when the city was sued by some local protestors. I am given to understand that I played a large role in the city winning the case.
I left PBI in April 2011, to join Freedman Consulting as a law practice management consultant. About a year and a half later, Jeff Lowenthal, my first client as a consultant, asked me to join his firm. I was pleased to do so and joined Lowenthal & Abrams in October 2012. While at L&A, I managed the firm’s online presence, handled legal ethics defense, performed legal research in arcane areas, oversaw the technology, and more. I left Lowenthal & Abrams in August/September 2017. Why? For health reasons. No one wanted me to leave. We maintain an excellent relationship.
My biggest contribution to PBI would have to be the creation of simulcasting, which is large scale distance education. I won an ACLEA award for this effort. I also won an ACLEA award for a Facebook page I created for the Law Practice Management Institute. The Law Practice Management Institute is now known as the Pennsylvania Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Section Conference, or just the Conference. Interestingly, I have been involved in planning the Conference for quite a few years from the opposite side, that is as a volunteer.
In January 2014, I published the book, WordPress in One Hour for Lawyers. This book is a guide to how attorneys and firms can create their own websites using WordPress. (I design all of my websites using WordPress.)
I helped Lowenthal & Abrams in many ways. I can, with pride, say I helped grow the firm through my presence during my years there. It was a great firm when I joined it, and I will leave it even better for my having been part. I cannot ask for more than that.
I believe it is important to give back to the legal community. As a result, I am (or have been) quite involved in both the American Bar Association (Law Practice Division) and the Pennsylvania Bar Association (Solo and Small Firm Section, Women in the Profession, Membership, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and LGBT Rights.) For more details see Bar Memberships. As of May, 2020, I am Chair of the PBA solo and Small Firm Section. I will hold this position for two years.
Something More Formal?
If you would like to see a more formal recitation of my professional history, you may access my curriculum vitae.
My short bio is available here.