2019 Words to the Wise Interview with Sponsor and Board Member, Leslie M. Spencer

2019 Words to the Wise Interview with Sponsor and Board Member, Leslie M. Spencer

Leslie M. Spencer, SVUDL Board member, Partner Ropes & Gray and 2019 Words to the Wise sponsor, talks about the importance of diversity in debate and having professional champions. “As a woman of color, I am fully aware of the challenges that our students may face in terms of access to resources and opportunities for personal agency and professional success. Without question, having personal and professional champions is the biggest factor in achieving such successes. The mission of SVUDL is to empower Silicon Valley students, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status, to reach their full potential to become professional and community leaders.”

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Introducing New SVUDL Board Member Ellen Ehrenpreis

Ellen Ehrenpreis has a passion for working with companies making an impact in the world. 

A partner in the Silicon Valley office of Orrick, Ellen has devoted substantial time and effort over many years serving on boards of directors and in pivotal roles for nonprofit organizations. 

Now she is bringing her dedication to the SVUDL community!

Ellen’s background is a perfect fit for our team.  She has spent more than twenty years in the tech and venture ecosystem and leverages her broad network and deep understanding of both the tech sector and legal landscape to effectively and strategically advise emerging companies and investors on a wide range of critical needs. She advises companies and founders on formation, venture financings, governance, M&A transactions, corporate and securities matters, commercial transactions and litigation strategy. 

Ellen has represented both private and public companies and has worked with small startups and large multinational enterprises, as well as the executives, investors and advisors involved in those businesses.  Ellen also works closely with some of the leading venture capital and growth equity firms, whose principals she advises in connection with financings, equity structuring and corporate governance. 

Her clients have included companies in the semiconductor, SAAS, renewables, fintech, aerospace, digital retail, online sharing, biotech/biopharma, media, design and data analytics fields, among others. 

Prior to Orrick, Ellen was a member of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a co-founder of Edgewood Law Partners LLP.  Ellen is also a former competitive figure skater, a devoted wife and the mother of three teenage children.

We look forward to collaborating with Ellen to help our students tap the power of their voices to compete, excel and change the world through the rigor and thrill of the academic sport of debate.