Timothy C. Ellender Jr. | Ellender Law Firm
Timothy C. Ellender opened his private practice, the Ellender Law Firm, in 2004, focusing on both civil and criminal law, specializing in personal injury, divorce and family law. Born and raised in Houma, Ellender earned his Juris Doctorate in 1998 from Louisiana State University. A strong and confident lawyer, he is able to stand up for his clients in a court of law, yet treat their personal matters with the delicacy they deserve. Ellender has recently announced his candidacy for judge in 2020.
What path did you take that led you to where you are today?
“I have always had a love of history and political science for as long as I can remember so it was natural to follow in my father’s footsteps in the legal business. I had always admired my father’s ability as a judge to be fair and just.At the same time, witnessing my mother work extra hard as a schoolteacher and her passion for her students showed me a way to a strong work ethic.
Whether it was selling satsumas on the side of the road before I was ten years old, my brother and I working on my father’s Lafitte skiff during shrimping seasons, or working at the Zesto beginning at the age of thirteen, those early work lessons made me value hard work and determination.”
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced over the years and how did you meet it?
“I’d have to say starting my own practice in 2004 was my biggest challenge to date. At that time, I had never run a business. I learned a lot about myself and my resolve to see things through by working hard. After 21 years of practice, challenges will continue to come, but my history of representing people in need of help in tough times makes the challenges easier to overcome.”
How do you see your company changing in the next five years and how do you see yourself creating that change?
“Well, first of all, I don’t see myself as a company per se. I consider myself, and my firm, more as advocates for justice. I have just hired another lawyer for my firm that I believe brings a certain dynamic to my firm’s representation. We have different practicing styles; our clients will benefit from that as we formulate custom representation to fit our clients’ needs.
As far as change, I thought long and hard about practicing law over the years and it has led me to a higher calling to seek to serve my community in a more productive way as a judge. I just feel I can be effective with my love of the law coupled with my passion for justice and my ability to listen to all sides of the story before making decisions that affect people’s lives.”
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Put succinctly, ‘listen more, talk less’. I believe firmly in the prospect that a good communicator finds his or her origins in that success by being a good listener.”
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
“While it sounds cliché, I believe there is a reason that we tend to respond this way. Being a father to my two girls and watching them grow and become kind and loving individuals is my greatest accomplishment and joy. As every parent knows, it’s a humbling experience, but when you see your children excel, care for others and show respect because of the values we instill in them, there’s no greater accomplishment.”
Who has been your greatest influence on your path to success?
“I cannot point to one person who would qualify as the ‘greatest’. However, I see my father nearly every single day and seek his counsel, advice and wisdom that he offers from his experience. My mother’s father was a colonel in the Air Force and fought in World War II. During the summers, my siblings and I would spend inordinate amounts of time in San Antonio during which we got a taste of what it was like growing up in a military family. It was very strict but fair and he did a good job of making us understand work ethic and responsibility. With my mother being a schoolteacher, she carried on the importance of education.”
How are you going to impact the Bayou Region in 2020?
“I’ve announced my candidacy for judge in Terrebonne Parish in October of 2020. I believe I’ll be able to positively impact my community tremendously by taking this step from attorney to judge. People have a lot of anxiety and fear associated with a courtroom. No matter what case comes through those doors, people’s lives are being affected within those walls. I want to make sure that everyone is given a fair shake and that they feel they’ve been heard, their story has been told, and someone has listened and taken into account what they are facing and the gravity of what hangs in the balance of a decision. It’s not to be taken lightly and deserves a judge’s full attention.”
How do you start your workday?
“I have a spot in my house that I use for stretching and mobility exercises. During that time every day, I think about five things I’m grateful for. This allows me to start my day in a positive direction and guides me towards seeing the best interest of all people I come into contact with. By slowing down and starting my day off in that mindset, it gives me the ability to put myself in other people’s shoes and allows me to reflect on what’s important.”•