After graduating from Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Law in 1990, Esma (Özkan) Erterzi has completed her lawyer internship as well as judge candidacy and performed her duties as a judge at various Turkish cities for Civil and Cadastre Courts, Criminal, Assize and Juvenile Heavy Criminal Courts. She has also worked as a  Public Prosecutor for the Supreme Court of Appeal.

In the area of international law, she participated in activities of:
•    Application of bilateral and multilateral agreements which Turkey is a participant under her role in Republic of Turkey Ministry of Justice General Directorate of International Law and External Affairs;
•    Recognition and enforcement of international declarations and rogatory, agreements on child trafficking and children rights, international jurisprudence on custody and alimony;
•    Commenting on matters with an international scope such as reciprocity, human rights, aliens law and citizenship law;
•    Consulting persons and institutions on international private law and procedural law;
•    Consulting on negotiations, acceptance and legalization of international agreements and preparation of relevant regulations;
•    Meetings, congresses, conferences, seminars, workshops and other educational activities. 

She was a member of the Turkish delegation responsible for the Turkish Report of “Chapter 24: Justice, Freedom and Security” (2006) and its presentation in relation to Turkey-European Union Accession Negotiations, Screening Meetings and the EU acquis.

She represented Turkey in bilateral talks with the United States, and in international meetings and conferences of:
•    United Nations, 
•    European Union, 
•    European Union Commission, 
•    Hague Conference on Private International Law, 
•    Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and
•    Europe Conference of Prosecutors and the World Summit of Attorneys General.  

Abroad, she has worked as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Kosovo Supreme Court Privatisation Department for the “Rule of Law” mission by the European Union between 2009-2015. She was appointed by the President of the European Union EULEX Mission and the President of the Republic of Kosovo as an international judge. Alongside of her judicial duties, she participated in educational activities of the local and international judges and legal personnel on human rights law, ownership law and privatisation law. When necessary, she carried out her duties as a member of  Appellate and Supreme Court in criminal law between 2014-2015.

She completed her Masters in European Union Law at Essex University (UK) in 2004 where she studied Competition law, Intellectual Property, Banking law, EU External Relations, Immigration and Human Rights law. She is at the thesis process for her doctorate in European Union and International Economic Relations at Ankara University Social Sciences Institute. 

While presiding as a judge at İzmir First Instance Civil Court, she retired in April 2017 upon her request and she set up Erterzi Legal & Consultancy after registering as an attorney at İzmir Bar Association the same year.