Al Ellis, Of Counsel with Sommerman & Quesada and a practicing trial lawyer and mediator, joined the UNT Dallas College of Law as a part-time Professor of Practice in the inaugural faculty. While continuing to practice law, he will teach and contribute in the areas of the profession and practice of law, externships, and mentoring. Beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year, Ellis will serve as Community Outreach Facilitator, working with Dean Royal Furgeson.
After graduation from the University of Texas at Arlington and service in Vietnam as a U.S. Army airborne infantry officer, Professor Ellis graduated from SMU Law School, where he was chief counsel for the SMU legal clinic and served on the board of editors for the Journal of Air Law and Commerce. Professor Ellis has tried over 175 jury trials, is Board Certified in Personal Injury and Civil Trial Law, has earned membership of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and has taught in the trial advocacy program at SMU.
Throughout his career, he has been committed to community service, professional development, the bar association, and access to justice. He has served as President of the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, and the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association. His contributions also include serving on the boards of the State Bar and Dallas Bar Associations; Legal Services of North Texas; Dallas Legal Hospice; Dallas Habitat for Humanity; Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation; and the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism.
His many awards include the Dallas Bar Association’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award; Dallas Lawyers Auxiliary Justinian Award; Texas Bar Foundation’s Dan Price Memorial Award; UTA Distinguished Alumni; Nancy Garms Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Law-Focused Education; and the Dallas Trial Lawyers Distinguished Community Involvement Award.