Melissa graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (2007). She then went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law (2010), where she was named to the Dean’s List.
Melissa clerked for Chicago-Kent’s distinguished Family Law Clinic during law school, where she worked closely with clients throughout various stages of litigation. Melissa is also a certified mediator and has used her mediation skills extensively to resolve cases in the Cook County court system, as well as issues with her clients in private practice. She has been working exclusively in the area of family law since 2008.
Melissa has worked with The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel since 2009, having worked as a law clerk prior to being admitted to the Illinois Bar. She has helped her clients solve their legal problems in all areas of domestic relations including property settlements, child custody (now known as allocation of parental responsibilities), establishing appropriate amounts of child support and maintenance, parenting time, establishing parentage, analyzing and investigating complicated financial assets and transactions, obtaining and defending orders of protection, and resolving similarly related disputes. Melissa has been licensed to practice since 2010 and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
Since 2014, Melissa has co-chaired the Chicago Bar Association’s Family Law Committee (Young Lawyer’s Section). Melissa additionally volunteers her time with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) and The Family Defense Center. Through CVLS, Melissa works as a pro bono child representative, representing children in child custody and parenting time disputes (now known as the allocation of parental responsibilities). With The Family Defense Center, Melissa has worked to defend parents against baseless allegations made by the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.
Melissa has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2012, 2013 and 2016. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. To view Melissa’s Super Lawyers online profile, click Melissa’s name in the Super Lawyers icon adjacent to Melissa’s profile.