Lisanne Edelman has wanted to be a lawyer since she was 12 years old. Her growing interest in shows like “Law & Order” signaled that a career in prosecution may be in the cards, but her first criminal law class at John Marshall Law School shifted her focus.
Students were tasked with researching and presenting a particular case from the Innocence Project. To this day, Lisanne can remember the case she chose. In 1999, Clarence Elkins was convicted of the murder of his mother-in-law, Judith, and the assault of his 6-year-old niece. Clarence maintained his innocence, but his niece’s testimony that the intruder looked like her uncle sealed his fate. In 2002, his niece officially recanted her claim, and Clarence was ultimately freed in 2005 based on an alibi witness and a DNA hit off a cigarette butt Clarence collected from a fellow inmate — who was ultimately found guilty of the attacks.
“That triggered something in me,” Lisanne recalls about this case.
“If the defense attorney had explored this [alibi witness] avenue, he could have avoided X amount of years in prison … It really is a system of checks and balances.”
Since joining Don Turner Legal Team as an intern in October 2016, Lisanne has continued to develop her passion for helping others facing legal charges. Lisanne passed the bar exam in October 2017 and assumed full attorney duties. In her tenure, she has been instrumental in getting clients’ charges reduced or dismissed, including this past spring, when she had a very successful run of
Lisanne continues to work with our local justice system to help her clients avoid life-altering consequences for their perceived mistakes. “It’s been a really amazing feeling to help clients avoid felony convictions because of the fight we’ve put up,” Lisanne says, later adding how excited she is to continue advancing her education. “I sense that I’m very hungry for more,” Lisanne says. When she isn’t fighting for her clients, Lisanne can be found attending Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC games with her family, or enjoying a local brewery with friends. Having immigrated from the Netherlands when she was 9 years old, Lisanne remains close to her family and regularly ventures back to Europe.
We are incredibly proud of Lisanne, and we are grateful to have her on our team. Keep up the great work, Lisanne!