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Equal Justice Works to Honor Brian Ellis at The Scales of Justice Virtual Event

/ Press Release

Brian Ellis of Danaher Corporation to be recognized for his commitment to public service at the Scales of Justice virtual event.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 2021—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today announced that it will honor Brian Ellis, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Danaher Corporation, at the Scales of Justice virtual event on October 12, 2021.

Photo of Brian Ellis
Photo of Brian Ellis

“Brian is a true believer that lawyers can play a critical role to help disadvantaged communities achieve justice in society,” said David Stern, executive director at Equal Justice Works. “Brian has been a champion for pro bono throughout his career and an example to others of how a lawyer can find many opportunities to be a force for good in the world.  We are excited to recognize Brian’s demonstrated commitment and service at this year’s Scales of Justice event.”

Each year, Equal Justice Works presents the Scales of Justice Award to a leader in the legal community who exemplifies a high level of commitment to public service and pro bono; shares our values of passion, community, service, opportunity, and equal access to justice; has upheld the Equal Justice Works mission and vision throughout their career while also supporting the organization; and has set a strong example for how lawyers and legal professionals can and should contribute to efforts in the public interest and toward greater access to justice for all.

Throughout his career, Brian has been a powerful force in driving pro bono initiatives. At Danaher, Brian’s global legal teams support pro bono initiatives across the United States, including support for nonprofit organizations. Danaher currently sponsors Equal Justice Works Fellow Sabrina Bernadel, whose project is focused on providing legal services and legislative advocacy for girls of color to ensure access to education that is free of discriminatory discipline, harassment, and violence from school-based police.

“My deep and abiding belief is that everyone deserves a fair shot at living life to their fullest potential,” said Brian. “I’ve spent years in private practice and government service where I’ve fought for the defenseless and tried to level the playing field of a very challenged criminal justice system. For the last several years, I’ve been unable to dedicate the amount of time I’d like to pro bono work or public service, so I’m grateful for the mission and scale of Equal Justice Works and humbled to be a small contributor to its work.”

Prior to his role at Danaher, Brian was the general counsel at Medtronic’s Restorative Therapies Group, where he was an active participant in the company’s pro bono program. Under his direction, the company created partnerships with a local hospital system to provide legal services to patients whose long-term care and recovery were directly impacted by their ability to address various legal challenges.

As a leader in the legal profession, Brian has also shown an exceptional commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At Danaher, Brian is the executive sponsor for the company’s Black & Friends affinity group, and convened the first meeting among African-American Male General Counsel to address diversity and social justice issues. During his time at Medtronic, he created and led Medtronic’s African Descent Network, which supported hundreds of community organizations in expanding access to health services for underserved communities across the country.

“I’ve tried to mentor people who, like myself, always felt out of place and alone because of their differences,” said Brian. “I am proud of the many women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people I’ve mentored and sponsored over the course of my career. For as much as I’ve poured into them, I have learned and grown exponentially more.”

Brian has earned numerous accolades for his leadership and pro bono work, including recognition as one of Savoy Magazine’s 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America, as the 2019 Rising for Justice honoree, and as one of the 2018 Most Influential Black Lawyers, just to name a few. Brian also serves on the board of directors at Entergy Corporation and is a member of the Equal Justice Works Annual Dinner Steering Committee. 

Click here for more information about this year’s Scales of Justice event.

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About Equal Justice Works

Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. We bring together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of our Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.

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Heena Patel
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Email: [email protected]

For the last several years, I’ve been unable to dedicate the amount of time I’d like to pro bono work or public service, so I’m grateful for the mission and scale of Equal Justice Works and humbled to be a small contributor to its work.

Brian Ellis /
2021 Scales of Justice Honoree

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow