Elissa Haynes, partner and chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Drew Eckl & Farnham, has excelled as a leader, both within and outside the firm. She is a passionate mentor, a well-connected defense attorney, and a thoughtful volunteer who prioritizes serving her communities. Given her experiences, she is steadfast in her belief that offering junior associates the opportunity to become involved in leadership positions will create more well-rounded attorneys, benefiting their careers and the overall success of their firm.
As a young associate, Haynes began investing her time in leadership opportunities within professional organizations early on, with the goals of networking and marketing her natural talent in appellate advocacy. In 2016, Haynes graduated from the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Leadership Academy, a six-month program aimed at teaching young lawyers more about their profession, communities, and state. Over time, Haynes joined and contributed to several of the organization’s committees, serving as chair of the YLD Appellate Admissions and Legislative Affairs Committees before she was elected to serve as a Northern District Representative on the YLD Representative Council. Haynes then ran for and was elected Secretary of the YLD where she has continued to move up the ladder to her current position as President. She was recently sworn in as President of the YLD by Judge Sara Doyle of the Georgia Court of Appeals at the State Bar of Georgia’s Annual Meeting in Isle of Palms, South Carolina. As President, Haynes also serves on the State Bar of Georgia’s Executive Committee and is involved with several State Bar committees.
In addition to serving as President of the YLD, Haynes has served as Chair of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Amicus Committee for the past two years. Within her firm, Haynes also chairs the Retail and Hospitality section and is a founding member of the firm’s Mental Health and Wellness Committee. Through her leadership roles, Haynes strives to make the practice of law better for all, while also growing the involvement of young lawyers through mentorship.
Haynes joined Drew Eckl & Farnham in January 2020 with a hunger to grow her appellate practice. Despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic, Haynes had the opportunity to virtually argue her first case in the Georgia Supreme Court this past year. Drew Eckl & Farnham quickly provided Haynes with the platform she needed to successfully grow her appellate practice and her book of business. Haynes also credits her success to her own mentors, both within and outside of the firm. “I am fortunate to work with other past and present bar and professional organization leaders like Douglas Burrell and Hall McKinley. It is helpful having others who know what you are going through in terms of managing the workload on top of your other responsibilities.” Haynes also understands the hesitation for young lawyers to up their involvement outside of work. “Insurance defense workers already devote so much time to billable hours, and that makes people nervous to dive into leadership roles knowing the substantial time commitment required to be successful,” says Haynes. “Devoting extra time to serving your community and the legal industry through professional organizations can be challenging, but it is just as important for your personal and professional growth as you build your client portfolio.”
For more information on Drew Eckl & Farnham’s leaders, visit https://www.deflaw.com/organizations/leadership/