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After graduation from high school in the Detroit area, Melissa attended the University of Michigan, a public ivy league institution which is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the world. In May, 1990, Melissa was awarded her Bachelor's Degree in Economics from this prestigious university.

Prior to graduation, Melissa was offered a position with M&M/Mars as a Sales and Marketing Representative in the Motorcities Region. After gaining two years work experience with this worldwide corporation, Melissa was ready to pursue her goal of becoming an advocate and voice for others.

Armed with a scholarship, Melissa enrolled in law school at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, Kentucky. This Dean's List student obtained her Juris Doctor degree in 1995 and is proud to be part of the first law school class to complete public service as a graduation requirement.

Upon receiving her Juris Doctor degree, Melissa relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida where she passed the Florida Bar Examination and began a Clerkship with an insurance defense firm in Tampa, Florida. She was soon promoted to an Associate Attorney position, where she remained until the opening of her practice in 1997. Currently, Melissa is the Senior Attorney at Sharpsteen Law where she primarily focuses on Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Bankruptcy and Estate Planning/Probate matters.

Melissa is licensed to practice law in the United States Federal Middle District Courts as well as the Florida State Courts. She is experienced in the courtroom, having conducted both jury and nonjury trials in both criminal and civil cases. Throughout her career, Melissa has remained active in the legal community. Additionally, in keeping with her commitment to public service, she continues to participate in pro bono and charitable causes, most recently being named to the Board of Directors of the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

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