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Photo of Emily Guerrero, Elisa Kodish, Norah Rogers
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July 11, 2022

Nelson Mullins Names Elisa Kodish Pro Bono Partner

Left to right, Emily Guerrero, Elisa Kodish, Norah Rogers

ATLANTA – Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has tapped Atlanta partner Elisa Kodish to serve as the firm’s national Pro Bono Partner, leading the award-winning program as it invests further in its mission of providing legal services to the underserved. Kodish will work alongside Pro Bono Manager Norah Rogers, who has coordinated pro bono for the firm for over 25 years. A new pro bono coordinator, Emily Guerrero, has also joined the pro bono team from the Charleston School of Law, where she served as Associate Director of Career Services. Together they will formulate and execute the firm’s strategic vision for pro bono across the firm’s 900 attorneys and 31 offices.

Nelson Mullins engages in complex pro bono litigation, policy, and legislative advocacy and provides individual representation to a diverse group of individuals and organizations whose mission is to serve people with limited means and to protect and enforce human rights, civil rights, and disability rights, advocate for adequate housing, healthcare, education, and parental rights, and advance social and racial justice. The firm has undertaken decades of work litigating for better conditions for children in the juvenile justice system and prisoners with mental health issues, advocating for access to an appropriate education, drafting wills for rescue workers, and securing safe and stable housing.

Nelson Mullins and its attorneys have been recognized by numerous organizations for  pro bono work. The firm is honored to have earned two Beacon of Justice Awards from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professional Award, the Georgia Appleseed Good Apple Award, the Atlanta Pro Bono Partnership Law Firm of the Year Award, Pro Bono Public Awards from the American Bar Association, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association Arthur von Briesen Award, and the Janet Spragen American Bar Association Award for outstanding achievements in tax law. Most recently the firm received the 2022 Beacon of Justice Award for its work in the fight for racial justice. 

Kodish has more than 20 years of experience as a litigator at Nelson Mullins and has provided pro bono services throughout her career. Kodish has been an active member of the firm’s pro bono committee and, in conjunction with prior chairs and firm pro bono leaders, has helped to develop and oversee Atlanta-based pro bono projects, handling many cases of her own in areas spanning education advocacy, adult guardianships, and housing challenges.  

As an associate, she was selected by the firm to serve a four-month fellowship representing impoverished clients in a variety of civil legal matters, after which she established a long-term education advocacy project for firm attorneys. Kodish was president of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society in 2019 and a career-long board member. As an adjunct professor for Emory University School of Law, she has supported students pursuing careers in public interest. The firm has recognized her with the Claude M. Scarborough, Jr. Award for pro bono achievements, and the Georgia Bar bestowed the 2005 William B. Spann, Jr., Award on the firm for her work leading the "TeamChild: Early Intervention" project. Other recent recognition includes the State Bar’s 2019 Commitment to Pro Bono Services Award and the 2021 Atlanta Legal Aid Society Volunteer Impact Award.

Kodish enthusiastically notes that “with the firm’s continued growth and increasing needs for pro bono services nationwide, Nelson Mullins has seized the moment and made a substantial investment in the growth of our program. I am excited to introduce our strong pro bono culture to our new offices and to help take our established and sophisticated program to the next level.”