Ellie Fortner-Turnage is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, where she graduated from Jim Hill High School. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Turnage later received a law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. Turnage was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1985, and is licensed to practice before all state and federal courts in the state of Mississippi and the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She is a former staff attorney for the Mississippi Judicial College and a seven-year chairman of the Mississippi Employment Security Board of Review. Ms. Turnage joined the Law Offices of Halbert E. Dockins Jr. in April 1999 and partnered with Halbert E. Dockins and Earle S. Banks in 2002. She is an active member of Smith Chapel Freewill Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi.