A passionate, motivated advocate
Elaina Bailey is an associate with the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group, representing employees unlawfully denied wages and overtime pay.
As a young woman, Elaina saw how the law can too often used by the powerful to maintain their power. Coming from a working-class, underprivileged community, Elaina wanted to find a way to use the law to help her neighbors. She chose to focus on workers’ rights law because where she came from, a person’s ability to provide for their family is dependent on their employment. In this way, Elaina sees her wage-and-hour practice as social justice work.
Raised in a middle class, military family, Elaina understands the value of hard work. Before becoming an attorney, Elaina worked in both the retail and restaurant industry. These experiences, combined with her strong internal sense of justice, are at the root of her advocacy work.
Elaina attended University of Michigan, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After graduating, she was accepted to Wayne State University Law school, where she earned several competitive scholarships. While in law school, Elaina excelled academically as well as on the school’s Moot Court team, competing in regional and international competitions. She also interned at the U.S. Department of Labor Solicitor’s Office, and National Labor Relations Board. She also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge Avern L. Cohn of the Eastern District of Michigan. During this time, Elaina also served as a clerk to four Detroit-area law firms, one of which she joined after passing the Michigan State Bar Exam.
While at this firm, Elaina focused her practice on wage and overtime cases and helping workers obtain compensation for employers’ violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Michigan Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, and other state employment laws. She developed her knowledge of class action rules and procedures, appearing before federal district court judges and participating in private mediation and settlement conferences.
Before joining Sommers Schwartz, also Elaina served as an attorney advisor to Administrative Law Judge Francine L. Applewhite of U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington, D.C.
- State Bar of Michigan
- National Lawyers Guild
- Wayne State University Law School, Juris Doctor
- Student Editor, State Bar of Michigan “Michigan International Lawyer”
- University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan