Class Acts: Ellie Stitzer

“Ellie is a superstar, with boundless vision, optimism and persistence, who will surely change the world," said Karen Tokarz, the Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Policy. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

Ellie Stitzer, who is set to graduate in May with a JD from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, is a passionate advocate for disability rights.

Stitzer, a Scholar in Law award recipient and co-founder of the Disability Law Caucus at the law school, has worked as a legal intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council. She will be working at the council after graduation, helping to make housing more equitable for all.

“As many of our clients are disabled, I hope to bring my own experiences with disability justice work into this new position,” Stitzer said.

She came to Washington University after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in health science from the University of Missouri.

“College is an eye-opening experience for everyone, and for me, my time at Mizzou was when I really began to explore my identity as a person with a disability for the first time,” Stitzer said.

“A major piece of this journey was when I met my college mentor, who is a disabled attorney. She introduced me to the disability rights movement and the disabled advocates who have used the law to create a more just society for my community.”

That relationship was incredibly impactful, and Stitzer came to law school with the intention of continuing that work in whatever way she could. 

“Ellie is a passionate public interest advocate, with a lifelong commitment to social justice, which she demonstrated through her work with the law school’s Civil Rights, Community Justice and Mediation Clinic,” said Karen Tokarz, the Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Policy. “She will carry that drive in her postgraduate position as an attorney with the eviction defense team at the St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council.”

“Ellie also is an outstanding role model and mentor, vividly evidenced in her leadership of the OUTLaw student group and her co-teaching of the “Law, Gender & Justice” undergraduate course,” Tokarz said. “Ellie is a superstar, with boundless vision, optimism and persistence, who will surely change the world.”

Stitzer said she has enjoyed her time at the School of Law.

“The best part of law school for me has been the incredible friends I have made in this program,” she said. “I have met so many people who have helped me grow as a person and connect deeply with my passions and values. I feel that I will be leaving the School of Law a more confident and grounded version of myself because of the relationships I’ve developed here. I can’t wait to see what important work others from my class get involved with in the future.”

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