On March 20, 2018, Judge Elizabeth L. Branch (Lisa) was sworn in as a United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit.
Judge Branch attended and graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina (B.A., cum laude, 1990), and Emory University School of Law (J.D., with distinction, 1994).
After graduating from law school, Judge Branch served as a federal law clerk to The Honorable J. Owen Forrester of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia from 1994 to 1996. Following her clerkship, Judge Branch joined the litigation department of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP in Atlanta where she was first an associate and then a partner.
From 2004 to 2008, Judge Branch was a senior official in the Administration of President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. She served first as the Associate General Counsel for Rules and Legislation at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and then as the Counselor to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the U. S. Office of Management and Budget.
She returned to Smith Gambrell in 2008 as a litigation partner. Judge Branch then was appointed as the 77th judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal, taking office on September 4, 2012, where she served until March 19, 2018.
Judge Branch is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Lawyers Chapter for the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. She served on the Emory University Board of Visitors from 2015 through 2018 and currently serves on the Emory Law Advisory Board. She served on the Georgia Commission on Child Support from 2013 to 2017. She is a Master in the Lamar American Inn of Court and the Bleckley American Inn of Court. Judge Branch is a former Co-Chair of the Homeland Security and National Defense Committee of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association.