Main Menu


Joy Ellis has 20 years of experience delivering practical employment-related advice, litigating labor and employment disputes, and advising independent schools.

Joy advises and represents employers in all aspects of their employment-related legal needs. The assistance she provides to her clients runs the gamut: answering specific day-to-day questions at the workplace about discipline, leave laws, accommodations, hiring and termination; developing and updating employee handbooks; investigating harassment and discrimination claims; negotiating non-competition agreements and executive employment contracts; advising employers on reducing the risks associated with managing personnel; and litigating claims that arise.

A unique segment of Joy’s practice involves advising and representing independent schools in virtually all aspects of their operations, including student and employee handbooks, student discipline, civil rights, enrollment contract and admission issues, education records, head of school contracts, employment matters, educator misconduct, and risk management. 

Joy is a frequent speaker on various employment and school law topics. She regularly offers counseling and conducts on-site training on leave laws, wage and hour issues, hiring and firing, discipline and documentation, preventing harassment and discrimination, and preventing educator misconduct.

Professional Activities

  • Member, Oregon State Bar, 1995-present
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association, 1995-present
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, 1995-present
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association Litigation Section, 1995-present

Blog Posts

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Past Appearances



  • Oregon, 1995
  • Washington, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 1996
  • U.S. District Court of Oregon, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 1998


Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1995

Yale University, B.A., American Studies and Environmental Studies, magna cum laude, 1991

Honors | Recognitions

  • Named by peers to The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Labor & Employment Litigation, Employment Law - Management and Labor Law - Management, 2013-2010
  • Listed by Martindale-Hubbell™ as a '2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment’
  • Named in Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, 2012
  • Named by peers as a "Super Lawyer" in Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2010
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV/5.0 Peer Review Rated
Back to Page