Melissa was born and raised in Tampa, Florida.  Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She graduated from Stetson University College of Law where she was an award-winning member of Stetson's Moot Court Board. After attending Stetson University College of Law, Melissa began her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General. While at the Attorney General’s Office, Melissa litigated a multitude of complex and diverse Juvenile Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights cases.

          Melissa enjoys getting to know her clients and strives to provide the highest quality of legal services possible. Tenacious in protecting the rights of her clients, Melissa is a calming influence who guides her clients to optimal results.  She treats clients with respect, compassion and caring, and has a unique ability to see the big picture and to find creative solutions where not readily apparent.

          Melissa is admitted to the State Bar of Florida.  She is also a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and the Animal Law Section of the Florida Bar.

          Melissa has worked as a pro bono Attorney Ad Litem representing hundreds of children in Juvenile Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights cases.  She is known as a strong children’s advocate with a unique ability to work with children and teens, and judges frequently appoint Melissa to represent children in the most difficult of matters.

          Melissa is a frequent legal commentator for local television regarding current family law and animal law issues.  Melissa has represented numerous animal groups and has given lectures for Hillsborough County and other organizations throughout Florida.