Gray Ellis
  • Founder & Managing Partner



Gray Ellis
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Gray Ellis is the founder and managing partner of Ellis Family Law and has successfully represented individuals and families in their most important legal matters for more than 17 years.  He is also Board Certified by the North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization - a distinction held by less than 2% of all family law practitioners in the state - and has been recognized for excellence in the practice of law by numerous independent attorney rating services. 

In addition to his training and experience, Gray believes his effectiveness on behalf of clients is due in part to his personal experience as a parent who has gone through a separation. 

"Perspective is very powerful in the practice of law, and especially in issues involving divorce, child custody, support, and end of life planning.  I feel my background makes me a more effective advocate on behalf of our clients and provides an extra layer of determination and understanding about exactly what it is they are going through when they hire our firm."  - Gray Ellis

Gray is also a believer in giving back to both the legal profession and broader communities served by the practice.  He is a Board Member of Meals on Wheels Durham and created the Feed the Need Gala, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness and funding to fight nutritional challenges among our elderly population.

In his free time, Gray enjoys tennis, golf, traveling and watching ACC sporting events.


Practice Areas

  • Family Law
  • Estate Planning

Honors & Awards

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2011-12
  • Super Lawyers Star Search, 2010-10
  • AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Divorce
  • Board Certified Specialist - North Carolina State Bar
  • Martindale Hubbell A.V. rated, 2016
  • BBB Rating A+
  • BBB of Eastern NC, Torch Award Finalist, 2017
  • Best of Durham - Readers' Favorite Platinum Winner, 2014-17
  • North Carolina Leaders in the Law Honoree, 2017
  • Best of The Triangle - Indy Week
  • Leaders in Law Honoree, Lawyers Weekly, 2017
  • Top 100 Family Lawyers in North Carolina Honoree, The American Society of Legal Advocates, 2016
  • Top 100 Lawyer Honoree, The National Advocates, 2014-16
  • Art of Law Excellence Award, 2015
  • Rising Star, North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2010-12
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 2016-18
  • Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award, 2015-15
  • AV Preeminent Award, 2015-19
  • AV Preeminent Judicial Award, 2016-17
  • Top 100 Family Lawyers in North Carolina Honoree
  • The American Society of Legal Advocates, 2016
  • Charlotte Magazine North Carolina’s Super Lawyers, 2016
  • Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars, 2010/2012
  • AVVO 10.0 Rating


  • North Carolina, 2002


  • North Carolina Central University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina
    • J.D.
    • Honors: cum laude
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
    • B.A.
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Political Science

Professional Associations & Affiliations

  • North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyer, 2008 to Present
  • Durham County Bar Association, 2002 to Present
  • Modern Family Committee of the North Carolina Family Bar, Chair, Present

Speaking Engagements

  • Divorce Clinic, Self Help, 2002 to Present
  • Equitable Distribution Clinic, 2004 to Present
  • Guest lecturer, UNC School of Women and Gender Studies
  • Guest lecturer, Duke University School of Law
  • University of North Carolina School of Women and Gender Studies, Guest Lecturer

Community Service

  • Board Member of Meals on Wheels of Durham
  • Founder, Feed the Need Gala
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Sponsor, Compass Center for Women Passion and Purple Event
  • Sponsor, Durham Blues & Brews Festival Benefitting The Exchange Club of Greater Durham

Prior Positions

  • Burton & Ellis, Partner
  • Juvenile Court Counselor, Wake County