The Ellerin name is synonomous with great lawyers starting with Judge Betty Weinberg Ellerin of New York. She was a pioneer in the law in the most powerful state in the union and she worked on the opinion that allowed the New York Giants Baseball team to move to San Francisco.
She was the first woman appointed as Deputy Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York for the New York City Courts, where she was responsible for the operation of all the trial courts within the city. Following that position, she became the first woman appointed as Associate Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
Along the way, while she was paving new roads for women attorneys and improving the legal system in New York, she had three children. One of them, Seth Ellerin, grew up to be a lawyer also.
Seth was a different kind of lawyer. I have known many lawyers from Houston, Dallas and every little town in between. I have met some incredible attorneys in that time and I have seen some excellent lawyering. But I say this with absolute sincerity, that I have never known an attorney more passionate for helping the disenfranchised and misfits of society. Seth Ellerin is a real life Atticus Finch. He will take on representation for people the rest of the legal profession forgets and ignores. He will then fight with a fervor and earnestness that is rarely seen today.
Lawyers these days are usually motivated by money first and prestige second. Not Seth Ellerin. He will stay on his causes regardless of the cost if he thinks it is right. There is no quit in him. He will fight to the death because he is on the side of right. No matter the cost. He is the last true people's lawyer.
And now, there is a whole new generation of Ellerin to make the legal profession better. Ashley Ellerin graduates from the University of Houston Law School today. She is Seth and Sharon Ellerin's daughter and the granddaughter of Judge Betty Ellerin. I have known Ashley since she was a little girl. She does everything with excellence and she has a vibrant, warm personality unlike most in the legal profession.
I was once the Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Consumer & Commercial Law Section and I am a member still of that section. It has been my passion to work for consumer rights in Texas and that committee and section are dear to me as a consumer attorney. As a member of that section, I get the Consumer Law Journal every three months like all the other members.
One day, I opened up my journal and while I never actually read who works on the journal at the University of Houston Law School, I saw something that caught my eye. I went back to check and sure enough, I saw a name I recognized. Ashley Ellerin. Student Editor In Chief. Wow! I could have fallen out of my chair. She wasn't just on the journal, she was the Student Editor In Chief. Like her grandmother, she pursued her craft with excellence. Like her father she was championing causes for the people.
And today she graduates from law school. Another Ellerin added to the legal profession. A real talent ready to follow in some pretty impressive footprints. Ashley Ellerin, we welcome you into the legal profession. You are already a winner. Congratulations. I am proud of you.