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Elisa Smith Kodish

Elisa Smith Kodish

Pro Bono Partner

Atlantic Station
201 17th Street NW
Suite 1700
Atlanta, GA 30363
elisa.kodish@nelsonmullins.com

Elisa serves as Nelson Mullins’ Pro Bono Partner, leading all pro bono efforts firmwide in advocating for equal justice and providing representation to groups and individuals of limited means. Elisa will help foster an enhanced pro bono culture, connecting attorneys to meaningful causes and cases, and advancing the mission for public interest work to be treated...

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Elisa serves as Nelson Mullins’ Pro Bono Partner, leading all pro bono efforts firmwide in advocating for equal justice and providing representation to groups and individuals of limited means. Elisa will help foster an enhanced pro bono culture, connecting attorneys to meaningful causes and cases, and advancing the mission for public interest work to be treated as intrinsic to our professional practices.  

Working closely with committee and pro bono leaders, Elisa develops training opportunities, provides case oversight, and cultivates partnerships with nonprofit legal service providers and corporate clients. She helps formulate policies and procedures to facilitate engagement and provide strong advocacy for our clients. Each year, Nelson Mullins’ lawyers and professional staff take on matters spanning public interest law, helping to advocate for civil and disability rights, criminal justice reform, stable housing and protection from violence, at-risk youth, gender equity, education access, and racial and social justice. In addition, Nelson Mullins organizes legal clinics and advises nonprofit organizations and charities working to address critical legal and social problems.

Elisa is a past president of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, career-long board member, and recent graduate of Leadership Atlanta. As an adjunct professor for Emory University School of Law, she has taught students pursuing careers in public interest.

Prior to serving in her current role, Elisa practiced as a litigation partner with experience in the areas of medical device defense, franchise litigation, and toxic torts. She helped develop the Atlanta office’s pro bono program and provided training and direct case representation in matters involving education advocacy, housing, and guardianship work. She began her career as an associate in the firm’s Atlanta office in 1999.

Elisa Smith Kodish

as intrinsic to our professional practices.  

Working closely with committee and pro bono leaders, Elisa develops training opportunities, provides case oversight, and cultivates partnerships with nonprofit legal service providers and corporate clients. She helps formulate policies and procedures to facilitate engagement and provide strong advocacy for our clients. Each year, Nelson Mullins’ lawyers and professional staff take on matters spanning public interest law, helping to advocate for civil and disability rights, criminal justice reform, stable housing and protection from violence, at-risk youth, gender equity, education access, and racial and social justice. In addition, Nelson Mullins organizes legal clinics and advises nonprofit organizations and charities working to address critical legal and social problems.

Elisa is a past president of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, career-long board member, and recent graduate of Leadership Atlanta. As an adjunct professor for Emory University School of Law, she has taught students pursuing careers in public interest.

Prior to serving in her current role, Elisa practiced as a litigation partner with experience in the areas of medical device defense, franchise litigation, and toxic torts. She helped develop the Atlanta office’s pro bono program and provided training and direct case representation in matters involving education advocacy, housing, and guardianship work. She began her career as an associate in the firm’s Atlanta office in 1999.

Elisa serves as Nelson Mullins’ Pro Bono Partner, leading all pro bono efforts firmwide in advocating for equal justice and providing representation to groups and individuals of limited means. Elisa will help foster an enhanced pro bono culture, connecting attorneys to meaningful causes and cases, and advancing the mission for public interest work to be treated... as intrinsic to our professional practices.  

Working closely with committee and pro bono leaders, Elisa develops training opportunities, provides case oversight, and cultivates partnerships with nonprofit legal service providers and corporate clients. She helps formulate policies and procedures to facilitate engagement and provide strong advocacy for our clients. Each year, Nelson Mullins’ lawyers and professional staff take on matters spanning public interest law, helping to advocate for civil and disability rights, criminal justice reform, stable housing and protection from violence, at-risk youth, gender equity, education access, and racial and social justice. In addition, Nelson Mullins organizes legal clinics and advises nonprofit organizations and charities working to address critical legal and social problems.

Elisa is a past president of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, career-long board member, and recent graduate of Leadership Atlanta. As an adjunct professor for Emory University School of Law, she has taught students pursuing careers in public interest.

Prior to serving in her current role, Elisa practiced as a litigation partner with experience in the areas of medical device defense, franchise litigation, and toxic torts. She helped develop the Atlanta office’s pro bono program and provided training and direct case representation in matters involving education advocacy, housing, and guardianship work. She began her career as an associate in the firm’s Atlanta office in 1999.

Education

  • Emory University School of Law, JD (1999)
    • Articles Editor for the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal
    • Awarded Best Student Comment
  • University of Michigan, MA, Social Work, Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education (1997)
  • University of Michigan, BA, English, Psychology, with high distinction (1995)

Admissions

  • Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
The bar rules of some states require that the standards for an attorney's inclusion in certain public accolades or recognitions be provided. When such accolades or recognitions are listed, a hyperlink is provided that leads to a description of the respective selection methodology.

  • Recipient of 2021 Atlanta Legal Aid Society Volunteer Impact Award
  • Recipient of the 2019 Atlanta Bar Association Pro Bono Award
  • Graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Class of 2019
  • Guardianship advocacy featured by Georgia Bar’s 2019 Public Service Campaign
  • Recognized as annual “Pro Bono Star” by Atlanta Legal Aid (2016–2021)
  • Super Lawyers “Top Women Attorneys in Georgia, Business Litigation” (2013)
  • Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (2009—2013)
  • Graduate of Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Leadership Academy (2008)
  • Recipient of Claude M. Scarborough, Jr. Award for pro bono achievements (2005)
  • Earned Nelson Mullins the Georgia State Bar’s William B. Spann award for education advocacy project. (2005)
  • Featured in 2005 publication for National Association for Women Lawyers for child advocacy work
  • Association of Pro Bono Counsel 
  • Pro Bono Roundtable of Atlanta
  • American Bar Association
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Search Committee Member for Executive Director, Atlanta Legal Aid Society (2022)
  • Adjunct Professor, Emory University School of Law (2018–2022)
  • Advisory Member, Emory Public Interest Committee (2017–2022)
  • Member, Georgia Appleseed Young Professionals Council (2009–2013)
  • Nelson Mullins Legal Aid Fellow, serving four-month commitment representing indigent clients at Atlanta Legal Aid headquarters (2004–2005)
  • 2019 Past President, Board of Directors, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society
  • Executive Committee and Board member, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society (2012–present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Emory University School of Law (2018–2022)
  • 2019 Leadership Atlanta Graduate
  • Graduate of Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Leadership Academy (2008)
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