Elissa is the Chair the Government Law Practice and and is a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. Elissa is known as a discreet, creative problem solver with the ability to help prominent clients resolve issues at the intersection of law, government ethics, and regulatory compliance. She works closely with private and publicly traded companies, government agencies, individuals, and nonprofits. Elissa was Deputy Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and served as legal counsel to the Inaugural and Transition Committees for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. In 2016, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly recognized Elissa on its list of the Top Women of Law.
Before joining Mintz, Elissa was Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor Romney and Executive Director of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Office of the Governor of Massachusetts. Prior to joining the governor’s office, she was an associate in the litigation section of a Boston-based law firm, where she focused primarily on complex defense litigation. Earlier Elissa served as a law clerk to the justices of the Superior Court of Massachusetts and as research assistant to the late Justice Joseph Nolan of the Supreme Judicial Court. She also worked for the late Congressman J. Joseph Moakley and Massachusetts Senator Jo Ann Sprague.
Elissa represents government agencies, private and publicly-traded companies, nonprofits, and individuals on matters regarding ethics, privacy, higher education, government ethics, election law, corporate compliance, conflict of interest laws, public records law, lobbying, campaign finance, open meeting law, ballot questions, and other government areas. She is senior counsel to clients on all aspects of government operations and frequently trains government entities on compliance.
Elissa also advises large corporations and businesses on the unique political law issues they face when interacting with government; assists clients with developing and maintaining policies and systems to ensure compliance with ethics, lobbying, and other political laws; represents clients in enforcement actions and internal investigations; and serves as a Special Assistant Attorney General, representing and defending various state entities.
In addition, Elissa served as legal counsel to the Inaugural and Transition Committees for Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, and former Mayor Martin J. Walsh. More recently, she served as Massachusetts and Vermont legal counsel for the Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign. Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have appointed Elissa to serve on the bipartisan advisory committee to review and provide recommendations on federal District Court judicial candidates across Massachusetts, as well as on a seven-member bipartisan advisory committee to review and provide recommendations on U.S. Attorney candidates for the District of Massachusetts.
As a former senior member of the governor’s legal office, she has extensive experience in legislative and regulatory drafting and government compliance. She has lectured and written extensively on public records law, ethics, campaign finance, election law, lobbying, and open meeting law.
Elissa is actively involved in a variety of cases for the firm’s pro bono practice. She led the legislative redrafting and developed the strategic plan for the passage of G.L. c. 258E, “An Act Relative to Harassment Prevention Orders,” a Massachusetts law which allows a victim of stalking, sexual assault, and/or harassment to obtain a criminally enforceable restraining order against her or his perpetrator. For her pro bono work on the harassment prevention law, she received a public service award in 2010 and the Massachusetts Legislature issued a proclamation in recognition of her work on redrafting legislation. The firm was awarded the American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award in August 2010 for its work on the legislation.
Some of Elissa’s recent successful legal matters include representing the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, its board, and multiple ballot question committees, including the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety from campaign finance compliance, active litigation, HIPAA and FCC appeals. During the same election, she served as legal counsel to Governor Baker, and separately, as pro bono legal counsel to the “Yes on 3” ballot question campaign, the first-ever statewide popular vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. Elissa also recently achieved a favorable resolution to a Federal Election Commission complaint on behalf of Suffolk Construction, Inc. and its nonprofit subsidiary Suffolk Cares. As of late, pro bono work surrounding COVID-19 (e.g., assist with the creation of the COVID-19 Relief Fund, PPE for healthcare providers, etc.) has been a critical (and incredibly rewarding) component of Elissa’s practice.
- Suffolk University Law School (JD)
- Bridgewater State University (BA, Economics)
Recognition & Awards
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: Circle of Excellence honoree (2021)
- Chambers USA: Nationwide (Recognized Practitioner) - Government: Political Law (2019)
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: Top Women of Law (2016)
- Boston Business Journal: “40 Under 40” (2010)
- Public Service Award, Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service (2010)
- 40 Under 40 Award, STARS (2010)
- Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Rising Star – Political Law list (2005 – 2010)
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: “10 Up and Coming Young Lawyers” (2005)
- Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders (2007)
- 100 Women of Distinction, Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers
- Legal Counsel, Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund
- Advisory Council, New England Legal Foundation
- Officer Nominating Committee and Associate editor of Law Review, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Board of Directors and Chair of the Advisory Council, MSPCA
- Chair, MJW Charitable Foundation
- Board of Directors, Friends for Children
- Advisory Board, Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service (2010 - 2015)
- Diversity Committee, Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office
- Board of Trustees (2005 – 2010), Bridgewater State University
- Member (2002 – 2008), Norfolk Zoning Board of Appeals and Historical Commission
- Transition Team, Middlesex Sheriff Koutoujian
- Member, Boston Ethics Committee