Ellen Essig is an accomplished lawyer with extensive experience in surrogacy and collaborative reproduction law. She began practicing law in 1986, a year after the first surrogacy birth occurred. Ellen has seen this method of family building grow from infancy to reality and has spearheaded its development in the state of Ohio. She began her legal career as the “token female lawyer” in a midsized law firm. When she left 30 years later, she was a managing partner.  Ellen is a founding partner of Essig & Evans LLC, now known as The Family Law and Fertility Law Group.

Ellen has had a distinguished career, with many notable achievements to her credit. She is most proud of her service as co-counsel on the important marriage equality case argued to the US Supreme Court which resulted in the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the country. Ellen represents hopeful parents building their family through surrogacy and gamete donation and those who are helping those hopeful parents by acting as gestational carriers and donors.  Her clients are single and coupled, come from the United States and around the world, and represent all sexual orientations and gender identities. In addition to her work in surrogacy and third-party reproduction law, Ellen also represents clients building their family through adoption. Her dedication to her clients and her expertise in these areas of the law have earned her a reputation as a trusted and respected advocate among her clients and her peers.

In 1993, Ellen was accepted as a Fellow of AAAA, now known as the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. At that time, the Academy brought together respected attorneys with adoption expertise. In 2009 Ellen was a founding member of the second division of AAAA which added attorneys with expertise in surrogacy and third-party reproduction.

Despite the demands of her legal practice, Ellen also managed to raise a family, all of whom live nearby. Her greatest joy is spending time with her grandchildren and traveling around the world. Over the years, she has given her time to various nonprofits. Currently, she serves on the NKU Chase College of Law Board of Visitors and the Board of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio. Her ability to balance her professional and personal commitments is a testament to her exceptional time management skills, and dedication to both her career and her family.

Ellen attended law school part-time while raising her three children, the youngest of whom was born during spring break. Ellen graduated from Chase College of Law (NKU) where she earned her Juris Doctor in 1986. Her undergraduate degree is from The Ohio State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1972.  Ellen was certified as an Ohio Specialist in Family Law in 2000. She has been ranked as an AV Preeminent Attorney by Martindale Hubbell since 2000 and has been named a Top Attorney in Ohio by Super Lawyers since 2004. Since 2018, she has been named Top 50 Cincinnati Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women Ohio Super Lawyers and Top 25 Women Cincinnati Super Lawyers. She is admitted to practice in the US Supreme Court, the US, District Court, Southern District of Ohio, and the State of Ohio.