Melinda is a Senior Attorney with the Civil Rights, Employment, and Education Unit in the Rochester office. Before joining Empire Justice Center in 2021, she spent much of her legal career litigating some of the nation’s largest mass torts cases and handling a broad array of matters in state and federal courts nationwide. During that time, Melinda’s pro bono and volunteer contributions included service on the executive committee of the Board of Directors of TurnAround, Inc., Baltimore’s rape crisis center and service provider to those impacted by human trafficking, sexual, and intimate partner violence, representation of minor children in immigration proceedings with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), development and pro bono work for Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, and service as a Wingman for Athletes Serving Athletes. Melinda has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from Sam Houston State University and her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she earned the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Award for her participation in the Maryland Katrina and Indigent Defense Project.