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Ellen Richmond

Ellen Richmond

Senior Staff Attorney
Department
Conservation Law

Areas of Expertise: Litigation, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, FOIA

Ellen Medlin Richmond advocates to protect imperiled species and their habitat across the West.

Ellen came to Defenders after seven years in private practice. An experienced first-chair trial lawyer, Ellen has handled every aspect of complex civil litigation. While in private practice, Ellen maintained a vibrant environmental pro bono docket. Among other matters, she litigated multiple cases against the Trump Administration for Sierra Club and advocated to strengthen California’s restrictions on lead in ammunition for Ventana Wildlife Society, a condor protection group. Ellen also handled a full criminal trial docket during a secondment to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award in 2018 for a pro bono appellate victory that expanded access to jury trials for millions of tenants facing eviction. She began her litigation career as an associate attorney with the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program.

Ellen clerked for the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.S. from the Stanford Interdisciplinary Program on Environment and Resources, and a B.A. from Brown University. 

Although still very fond of her native North Carolina, Ellen loves the West with the fervor of a convert. She spends her time outside work learning more about native plants and birds with her two young daughters.