Melissa brings a wealth of talent acquisition experience to Ward and Smith. As our Director of Attorney Recruiting, Professional Development, and D&I she is responsible for our attorney recruitment efforts in support of the firm's current strategic initiatives and business goals with an emphasis on the successful transition of clients, referral relationships, and practice experience from one generation to the next. Additionally, Melissa is responsible for expanding the firm's professional development learning programs and diversity efforts.
Prior to relocating to Raleigh in 2019, Melissa provided recruiting and development support to large law firms in Washington, D.C. Her experience includes managing lateral partner onboarding, conducting screening interviews, implementing training programs, and executing on-campus recruitment programs at more than 20 law schools. Melissa was active in the Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association, having served on that board of directors for two years, and presented at the National Association for Law Placement's 2018 Annual Conference.
- J.D., Michigan State University College of Law, 2011
- B.A., Michigan State University, 2008
Professional and Community Affiliations
- National Association for Law Placement (NALP), Vice Chair, Educational Videos, Recruiting Section (2018-Present)
- Speaker, 2019 NALP Annual Education Conference, It's Been a LONG Time: The Constant Evolution/Reinvention of our Legal Services Career
- Speaker, 2018 NALP Annual Education Conference, The Fast & The Furious: Life During August Interviewing
- Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association (WALRAA) - Treasurer, Board of Directors (2016-2018)
- Triangle Area Legal Recruitment Association (TALRA)
- Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women - President, Chapter Housing Corporation, George Washington University
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