Dillon Ellis is an associate in Tressler's General Defense Litigation Practice Group. His practice centers on aviation litigation matters and involves a variety of practice areas, including premises liability, products liability and commercial disputes.
Dillon received his B.A. from University of Nebraska Omaha, M.A. from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his J.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently works out of Tressler's Chicago office.
Where are you from?
I mostly grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a little before landing in Nebraska.
What was your first job?
I was a car-side server at Applebee’s.
Do you have any hidden talents and/or unique hobbies?
I’ve been playing drums since grade school. Prior to moving to Illinois for law school, I played in a cover band that performed at weddings, community festivals and a variety of events.
Dillon playing drums at the Taste of Omaha food festival.
What is your favorite travel spot?
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Cancun. My wife and I have been there a few times and it’s always nice to sit by the beach or pool and not have to think about what’s on the agenda (nothing!). We also try to mix it up with more outdoorsy vacations. Before I started law school, we spent a week up on the North Shore of Minnesota and canoed through the Boundary Waters.
Dillon portaging in Minnesota. Portaging involves carrying a canoe or kayak over land between two bodies of water.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I try to keep a pretty active running schedule all year round, which can mean running on the Chicago Lakefront trail in running spikes on some of the coldest days of winter. My wife and I ran the Illinois Half Marathon and the Chicago Half Marathon this year.
Dillon enjoying a drink with his wife, Madeline, after completing the Illinois Half Marathon in the rain.
What is your favorite thing to do Chicago?
There’s never a shortage of things to do here - I recently went indoor skydiving! However, my favorite things about the city are the parks and running trails. After a run, the best way to recover is to grab some hotdogs and fries from Devil Dawgs on State Street and then walk over to eat in Grant Park.
Dillon skydiving at iFly Indoor Skydiving.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I think career fulfillment comes from utilizing your strengths regularly. I’ve always felt that persuasive writing is one of my strengths - and litigators do a lot of that.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
A healthy mix of interfacing with clients/opposing counsel/co-workers, conducting legal research and drafting litigation documents (pleadings, motions, discovery).
Why did you choose your areas of practice?
I spent my 1L summer as a law clerk at a small firm that handled a pretty even mix of litigation and transactional work. I gravitated toward the litigation side; It felt more natural to me and I enjoy the persuasive writing element. Now, 90% of what I do is litigation.
What do you like most about Tressler?
Tressler cares about the development of its associates. The partners take deliberate steps to put associates in situations that fit their level of experience. Junior associates here are given opportunities to challenge themselves and grow but are never thrown into the deep end on their own.
What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?
As a first-generation college student, who worked full-time while an undergrad, there were moments when I felt it would be easier to choose another path. I’m proud of my accomplishments, both career and education-wise, but more importantly, I’m grateful to have had the support and encouragement needed to get me to this point.
- Aviation Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction Litigation
- Employment Litigation
- Environmental Litigation
- Insurance Litigation
- Personal Injury
- Products Liability Litigation
- Professional & Management Liability
- Real Estate, Development and Land Use/Zoning
- Toxic & Mass Tort Litigation
- Insurance Law