Attorney at Law
Waneta Ellis, Attorney at Law
While in school, friends would suggest that little, bossy Waneta may want take up a career as an attorney, but up until much later in life she never thought it to be possibility. Never being shy from taking the leap into any endeavor, Waneta made her dream come true through hard work and toil. She is the first person from her family to graduate college, not to mention the additional juris doctorate from law school which really shows off her intelligence. We can all just imagine how her family brags about her when she is not there. Due to the fact that she is a hard worker, it did not seem like anything out of the ordinary for Waneta to work full-time and complete some of her studies through distance learning in order to put herself through college and law school.
Being a world travel and student, Waneta attended college in both the United States and Ireland. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Phoenix. Earning her J.D. from Elon University School of Law she concentrated her studies on trial advocacy because she loves being in the courtroom. It was in law school that she travelled to Ireland and while in the land of four leaf clovers and rolling green hills, she concentrated on Constitutional Law and was privileged to study under the Supreme Court of the United States Chief Justice John Roberts. Waneta is cognizant of the protections afforded to each person by the United States Constitution and cares deeply about how personal freedoms and rights are applied individually to each of her clients. Staying updated on the law is important to her, especially in our constantly changing world.
Though she got her degree and started her career in Criminal Law, her love for children of all ages drove her towards family law and immigration. Waneta holds the strong belief that children are the most integral part of the family unit and should be given rights such as those under the international law known as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children are often placed in the middle of parental conflict and shielding them from harm and educating parents on how to do so is a key part of Waneta’s practice. Practicing family and immigration law provides a sense of satisfaction to Waneta because she helps clients solve difficult situations and obtain closure during what is often the worst time of their lives. Waneta began her career in the legal field by volunteering as a Guardian Ad Litem in Wilmington for children who needed an advocate in the courtroom. She served abused, abandoned and neglected children by advocating for their best interests inside and outside of the courtroom. It was through this process that Waneta enhanced her passion for the law and the protection of children.
Waneta was born in Connecticut, however she claims to hail from Florida and various other places up and down the East Coast. Since 1998 she put roots down in Wilmington, and from those roots has grown a great network of friends and family. She is an only child, but has a large extended family. Negotiating conflict to a resolution comes naturally to Waneta since she negotiated amongst her large extended family (her mother alone had seven (7) siblings so you can imagine how many cousins she has!). Having such a large family gives her perspective and also helps her understand complex relationships. Her father was a career Air Force Tech Sergeant. Instead of calling her a military brat, it would be more appropriate to say she learned how to be scrappy from a young age due to living amongst her large and diverse family and friends.
A large and giving heart is also one of Waneta’s assets. She nurtures a strong sense of compassion and is compelled to give back to society, and more specifically our eastern North Carolina coastal community. Prior to Law School she was active in community service and participated in several non-profit organizations. If you want to describe Waneta’s calling in life, it appears that she is called to be an fighter for the constitutional freedoms of all people living within the borders of the United States.
Driving the American Dream
One of Waneta’s driving goals in life is to continue to help immigrants obtain their citizenship legally. Waneta has seen for herself that the American Dream is alive and well and understands the value legal immigrants (and illegal ones also) have added to our nation overall. Waneta works tirelessly to help people obtain visas, apply for asylum, or manage any other applications for citizenship that are needed. Waneta focuses a large part of her practice on the protections of immigrant children who will one day be the next generation of leaders of our great country. Waneta volunteers twice a month with the local Latino community offering a free legal clinic to those in need. Serving God by serving others is a motto she strives to remember each and every day.
Waneta is a fun loving, generous and compassionate person. Traveling and discovering new places and adventures are still high on her bucket list. When not at work you may also find Waneta lounging with her cat named Finn or going for long, relaxing walks with her dog Lady Jane who she recently granted asylum within her own home after rescuing her.