Spotlight on Successful Women in the Law: Ebony Morris

November 15 2021 | Committees

Ebony S. Morris first developed her interest in the legal profession after watching a documentary about the late Johnnie L. Cochran while she was a high school student. The documentary featured Cochran’s career and his defense of Geronimo Pratt, a Black Panther and decorated war veteran wrongfully convicted of murder. Pratt’s conviction was later overturned, and Cochran ultimately helped Pratt win more than $4 million in compensation against the City of Los Angeles and federal government. Ebony was enamored by Cochran’s dedication to his client and his passion for the law and for equal justice.

Her admiration of Johnnie Cochran led her to attend Southern University Law Center. While a law student, Ebony served as a Legal Writing Teaching Assistant and Articles Editor for the Southern University Law Review. In 2014, Ebony graduated from Southern University Law Center and was admitted into the bar the same year. Currently, Ebony is an attorney in the New Orleans, Louisiana office of Garrison, Yount, Forte & Mulcahy, LLC. Ebony regularly defends insurers and corporations in premise liability, product liability, trucking liability, retail and hospitality liability, and mass tort litigation matters.

Locally, she serves as the 2021-2022 President of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society (“Martinet Society”), a minority bar association in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Martinet Society was founded on May 13, 1957 by Earl J. Amedee, Israel M. Augustine, Louis Berry, Lionel Collins, Robert F. Collins, Nils R. Douglas, Norman C. Francis, Benjamin J. Johnson, Alvin Jones, Vanue B. LaCour, Ernest N. Morial, Justice Revius Ortique, Jr., J.T. Powell, James Smith, A.P. Turead, Freddie Warren, and Lawrence Wheeler to combat the racial injustices and inequalities that existed in the 1950s. The organization is named after Louis A. Martinet, a key strategist in striking down Louisiana’s Separate Car Act as unconstitutional.

The Martinet Society has been nationally recognized by the American Bar Association and locally recognized by the Louisiana State Bar Association. Each year, the organization hosts its Annual Pathways & Pipelines to Success Program, a professional development seminar dedicated to minority law students attending Louisiana’s law schools. The Martinet Society has also partnered with the Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter, Louisiana State Bar Association, National Bar Association, and the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society on various initiatives within the community.

Ebony was first introduced to the Martinet Society by a friend and Past President, Kimberly Silas, and after attending her first general body meeting, Ebony became an active member in the organization. Prior to serving as the President, she served as the President-Elect, Vice President of Membership, and Social Committee Co-Chair. Ebony affectionately refers to the Martinet Society as her “safe space” because the Martinet Society provided comfort during a time when Ebony often felt outnumbered as the “only African American in the room.” The Martinet Society not only provided a safe space, but allowed her to connect with other mentors and sponsors. Of her mentors and sponsors, the mentor she credits the most is The Honorable Karen Wells Roby who gave her a dose of “tough love” and pushed her to excel despite the odds.

Ebony has been recognized locally and nationally for her client service. Ebony has been selected for inclusion in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Louisiana Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” Lists, 2021 New Orleans CityBusiness “Ones to Watch,” The National Black Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40,” the 2020 Lawyers of Color “Hot List,” and the National Association of Women Lawyers 2021 Rising List. She also received the 2020 Outstanding Young Woman Lawyer Award from the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division.

Recently, she was named to the New Orleans Gambit’s 2021 40 Under 40 Class for her contributions to the legal community. In 2020, Ebony was named as a Finalist for the Young Outside Counsel Award of the Year from the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (“CLM”), a national organization consisting of over 50,000 insurance claims professionals. In 2021, Ebony was nominated again for the Young Outside Counsel of the Year Award and was named the winner of the award. In 2020 and 2021, Ebony was the only African American attorney named as a Finalist for the Award. Ebony has also received the 2019 President’s Award and 2021 Louis A. Martinet Award from the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society.

Ebony’s motto is “service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this Earth,” which is evidenced by her service in the legal community. In addition to serving as the Martinet Society President, Ebony is an active member of the American Bar Association (Diverse Leaders Academy), Defense Research Institute (2022 Corporate Expo Vice-Chair), National Association of Women Lawyers (Mid-Year Meeting Marketing Co-Chair), and National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division (Social Media and Technology Co-Chair).

In her spare time, Ebony enjoys mentoring other young attorneys and minority law students and spending time with her mother and shero, Patricia Morris. Ebony credits her mother as her “shero” from watching her raise three young women by herself and fearlessly lead the Greater Tangipahoa Chapter of the NAACP. Her mother instilled a sense of work ethic, tenacity, and boldness in her children, and Ebony is eternally grateful for her mother’s lessons, as those lessons have contributed to her success as an attorney.

 

Lynn Luker 
Women in the Profession Committee Chair

Each month NOBA's Women in the Profession Committee will spotlight a different female lawyer. WIP aims to support and celebrate successful women lawyers in New Orleans and their accomplishments. If you are interested in writing an article, please contact Lynn Luker for more information.



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