Ella Medeiros attended Harvard Law School, where she excelled in her studies. Deemed uptight by her classmate Jessica Pearson, the two were the top candidates for a prestigious job. In order to gain the position, Jessica got Ella drunk and stripped her naked, before placing her in the Constitutional Law classroom for everyone, including their professor, to see. This not only prompted Ella to lose the job, but the humiliation caused her to develop a hatred towards Jessica.
By 2012, Ella had married and changed her surname to Follman, working as a judge for the New York Supreme Court. She was chosen to preside over a case involving Harvey Specter, and chose to dismiss his motion to seal after discovering that Harvey worked for Jessica. Jessica responded by becoming a platinum donor in Ella's re-election campaign, thereby creating a conflict of interest and making the donation seem like a potential bribe, which Ella would be able to protect herself from if she recused her from the case. Ella eventually agreed to step down if Jessica admitted to her face what she had done at Harvard, as Jessica had been feigning that it was a mere prank. After Jessica's confession that it had been intentional, Ella stayed true to her word and recused herself.