Elham Ellen Jamshidi
Toronto Litigation Attorney | Trial Lawyer
For as long as I can remember, I had victory in my veins. I was born in Iran, but my family was forced to flee our homeland when I was a toddler. My father had been imprisoned because of religious persecution during the revolution of the early 1980s. It was my family journey that inspired me to become an advocate for the most vulnerable.
My parents, two older brothers and myself left our home in the middle of the night and escaped through the mountains of Iran and travelled through Pakistan. I remember very little about the journey but I do recall that we had to hide under the sand dunes as a train passed by at one point. My parents had three young children and I was strapped onto my father’s back as we travelled. We left everything behind – there were still dishes in the sink when we fled Iran.
My family settled for one year in Pakistan before making our way to Canada as refugees. My family arrived in Canada unable to speak English and hopeful to start a whole new life. We lived with my uncle in a small town for one year before we came to the city of Toronto.
My father – and his imprisonment in Iran as a victim of religious persecution – taught me the importance of fighting for a fair judicial system. This injustice inspired me to pursue my passion of legal advocacy. Today I am a Toronto Criminal Lawyer who is an impassioned litigator with extensive trial experience; an advocate who ensures accused individuals receive fair representation in the criminal justice system. I completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in psychology from York University. I then graduated from Queen’s Law School in 2003. I became a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2004. I am a strong believer in giving back to my community. I mentor other lawyers, law students and high school students about advocacy and criminal law. In addition to my legal volunteer work, I assist local impoverished youth. I think its important to emphasise to the younger generation the importance of staying in school, staying focused and not being afraid of hard work. Criminal law is a good fit for me because of my desire to help people who find themselves in desperate situations before the Courts. I represent a person, not a crime.