Passionately Working for the Results You Deserve; Meet Atlanta Attorney Attorney Ecleynne Mercy
Q: When did you know you would pursue a career in the legal field?
EM: When I was five years old. At my kindergarten graduation, everyone was asked what they wanted to do… kids said doctor, teacher, mailman etc. I didn’t see the option that I wanted. I tossed and turned the night before graduation and then I figured it out. I scribbled something on a purple construction paper… kid-like hieroglyphics and I practiced the statement that I learned from Primetime Television.
The night before my grandmother and I saw a nice white man talk about this career and I knew that this was what I needed to say. The day of graduation came, and I got to the mic and when asked, “Ecleynne what do you want to be when you grow up?” I said with my big bows and two missing teeth “I want to be a Supreme Court Justice” and the rest well is history.
Q: What type of cases do you generally handle?
EM: I handle personal injury and criminal defense.
Q: What is your approach or philosophy to winning or representing a case?
EM: People are People. Meet them where they are. Not where you think they should be. Be kind and be patient. Sometimes you’re probably the only little piece of Jesus someone sees that day, make it count.
Q: Tell us a little about your Legal Upgrade program.
EM: Well, I took the bar twice. After failing the first time by five points, I bust my whole ass and created a study regiment for myself to pass and then I blew it out the water. Then, I would personally help my friends and friends of friends that were repeat test takers and helped them pass. I grew confident in my method because it works and now, I help repeat bar takers pass the bar. Legal Upgrade is a supplemental program and course to help repeat bar takers successfully pass the bar.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney?
EM: First make sure that it’s your dream and not someone else’s dream. Be wary of the “I love to argue” rationale for being an attorney … we see that a lot. Study the profession, volunteer and intern to really confirm if this is what you want to do.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
EM: The criminal justice system is supposed to punish, deter and rehabilitate. When a person goes through this system regardless of what crime or situation, if they are ever fortunate enough to make in on the other side and is rejoining society. Well as society we must forgive. These human beings with their own stories, their own struggles, their own demands, their own actions have gone through the gauntlet of jails, courtroom, judges, lawyers and juries. When they have paid their debt, we as a society must forgive them and allow them to figure out how they can now be an asset to our community. They are not throw away people. They are all our people.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
EM: One woman that inspired me is fictional, but her story, struggle and survival told the truths of many black women and that is Celie from “the Color Purple.” Alice Walker gifted us a beautiful character that had every reason to give up, every excuse to stay down and she didn’t. We can chronologically see her find her strength and a love for herself … for me the definition of inspiration. Reading “The Color Purple” and how well it was written in journal style, literally seeing Celie grow through her words and thoughts provided me with all types of life. When all her trials and tribulations screamed death. Celie was a hero … her own hero.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
EM: Awareness. Having to be aware all the time. Someone is watching you. Aware of how I look. Someone is looking at you, towards you, or around you. Being aware for safety, being aware for publicity, being aware for marketing etc. etc. etc. All that awareness leaves little to no room to “dance like no one is watching.”
Five Things About Attorney Ecleynne Mercy
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
OPRAH is indeed my whole spirit animal. It was through her I believe God showed me that I had permission to follow my dreams … all of them. The Haitian chubby dark skin girl from Elizabeth New Jersey can really pursue her goals. When I was growing up, most women on the screen did not look like me but Oprah did. The other woman that look like me took orders, supported the lead, made the jokes and were never counted as real. I know that you can only control yourself, however, every single day for decades I saw Oprah’s mere presence force people to respect her.
2. What’s your favorite holiday? Why?
Easter. As a Christian it is the Cornerstone of my faith. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a criminal defense attorney, it always got me that Jesus had warrants. Had an unfair trial, was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death. But God so loved the world he gave his only Son. Jesus was raising the dead, making wine out of water and catering the biggest fish fry. He didn’t sin and he was still found guilty. But he died I believe for us, he didn’t have to, he could have set this whole world ablaze, but for the love of us, for the love of me he died and as promised to rise again. Jesus is the truth that’s why Easter is my favorite holiday.
3. Favorite food?
My mother’s Callallo and Djon Djon with beef and shrimp. It’s a Haitian dish comprised of okra, beef, shrimp, mushrooms, habanero peppers, deliciousness and love.
4. What app can’t you live without?
My YouVersion bible app. I wake up in the morning and check the verse of the day. There is an option to play the audio and I listen to the verse and just keep listening while I do my make-up. I listen to the Message Bible version.
5. Do you enjoy cooking? If so, what is your favorite meal to prepare?
YES… I love making Salmon cakes!