In her online bios, Ms. Ellis has portrayed herself as “an experienced defense attorney who was formerly an attorney for the U.S. Department of State and a Colorado prosecutor.” She also has described herself as a constitutional-law attorney and as having “extensive experience in litigation in both trial and appellate levels.”

Ms. Ellis’s work as a prosecutor lasted about six months, during a stint in Weld County, Colo., that started in September 2012, about a year after she graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia. She handled traffic cases and other misdemeanors, the Weld County District Attorney’s office said.

Ms. Ellis confirmed she was fired as a Weld County prosecutor in early 2013. She said she was fired because she refused to bring a case to trial that she believed was an unethical prosecution. A spokeswoman for the Weld County district attorney’s office declined to comment, citing human-resources rules.

As for the State Department, she doesn’t appear in federal payroll records as an agency employee. She was listed in one contract-dispute case decided in 2013 as a lawyer for IE Discovery, a firm providing legal-discovery help to the State Department. The State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.