Judge Carly M. Edelstein began her career as a sixth grade English and history teacher in Los Angeles, where she encountered a broken education system that denied children equal educational opportunities. Judge Edelstein decided to go to law school because lawyers have a lot of power, and she wanted to leverage that power to create change for her students and for children like them.
Since then, she has been doing just that, whether volunteering her time as chair of the Columbus Bar Association’s LGBT Bar Committee, serving as co-president of the American Constitution Society’s Columbus lawyer chapter, or providing pro bono legal assistance to communities that need free legal help.
This is especially true in Judge Edelstein's career. She has used her career to fight to make sure everyone gets a fair shake. As a law student, she worked down in Mississippi fighting to reopen a historically black elementary school, she represented individuals struggling to access welfare benefits and food stamps, and she advocated for equal educational opportunities for English Language Learners throughout California.
Judge Edelstein spent her first year as an attorney in Detroit, clerking for United States Court of Appeals Judge Eric L. Clay. She then worked at the United States Department of Education, enforcing our nation’s anti-discrimination laws in Ohio and Michigan schools as an attorney in the Office for Civil Rights. And she worked for Ohio healthcare organization Equitas Health as its Legal Services Manager. There, she ran a statewide name and gender change clinic for transgender and gender-nonconforming people and their families, and she provided legal representation to members of the LGBTQ community across Ohio.
Before her election to the bench, Judge Edelstein was a supervising attorney with the Office of the Ohio Public Defender, where she focused her practice on appeals and postconviction relief. She litigated cases in nearly all of Ohio’s twelve district courts of appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio, and federal court. Every day, Judge Edelstein represented some of the people most marginalized by our systems, assuring their rights were upheld and their voices were heard.
Judge Edelstein received her BA from Brown University, her MA from Loyola Marymount University, and her JD from the University of California, Irvine School of Law.