Standing 5’1” in high heels, Attorney Ella A. Hughes had only two career goals as a child – to be a classical ballerina or a lawyer. Driven mostly by TV images of lawyers and the victories she saw them win, Attorney Hughes’ interest in being a lawyer only intensified. And by eighth grade, she was determined to practice law. While her initial desire to be a lawyer was personal and arguably posturing, it is one that she does not shy from as her reputation proceeds her. She is known as a compassionate yet aggressive attorney, fighting daily for the rights and interests of her clients. This dual combination has earned her the reputation and nickname of being called the “Bulldog Attorney Fighting for Justice.”
To ensure justice is served, Attorney Hughes has provided low-bono and court-appointed representation in criminal and dependency cases, as well as guardian ad litem work for indigent litigants. She also provides pro bono representation for select divorce cases yearly. In addition, she hosts a variety of legal rights seminars throughout the year.
Before attending law school, Attorney Hughes aspired to practice corporate law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. In preparing for this audacious path, she became fluent in Spanish and worked as a Spanish translator for a college newspaper. She also studied Japanese but soon realized corporate law was not her passion. Instead, she fell in love with indigent and criminal defense work after participating in the Prisoners’ Rights and Advocacy Clinic (PRAC) in law school.
Her very first client was a retired US Army veteran, who was addicted to heroin. He’d been arrested multiple times for drug possession and other non-violent crimes. As his student advocate, she was tasked with ensuring his rights as a prisoner were not violated and to represent him before the parole board. This beautiful man, as she refers to him, was tough as nails. But, she soon won him over through her persistent and zealous representation. What she took away from this experience was that anyone may find themselves at the lowest point of their life, everyone may need help from others, and we should never take life for granted. It was this point where she found her love and purpose – to represent the underdog, the forgotten, and the mistreated people of society.
Attorney Hughes is a native Georgian. She received her undergraduate degree from Howard University and her Juris Doctorate from David A. Clarke School of Law.
Since returning to her hometown of Atlanta, GA in 2007, Attorney Hughes has consistently prepared sound, well-researched cases and provided top-notch representation for her clients from all walks of life and backgrounds. She is well respected by her colleagues, opposing counsels, court personnel, and judges alike.
Attorney Hughes enjoys traveling, reading, live music, community outreach, the performing arts, rock-climbing, and volunteering.