Melanie grew up on Montana’s Highline in Cut Bank, Montana, and has known she wanted to be an attorney since 7th grade.
In High School, she was a part of just about every organization and activity available to her before heading to New Mexico State University.
En route to earning her B.S. in Sociology, she was named the NMSU Sociology Undergraduate of the Year award and given the Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society of Sociology Award.
While living in New Mexico, Melanie discovered her love for Hatch Green Chiles but soon realized Montana was where her heart was.
Immediately following her graduation from New Mexico State University she moved to Missoula to attend the University of Montana School of Law.
While in law school, Melanie served on the boards of the OUTLaws and of the student chapter of the American Constitution Society.
She also competed on the law school’s Client Counseling Team. Melanie did her Clinic work with the Montana Legal Services Association Low-income Taxpayer Clinic, where she assisted clients in Federal Tax Court.
She wrote her Advanced Writing Requirement in law school in her Domestic Violence class wherein she argued that companion animals should be included in Orders of Protection.
Between her first and second years, she studied abroad in Shanghai and Chongqing, China.
Melanie was awarded her J.D. in 2016, and was sworn in to the Montana Bar later that year.
Following law school, Melanie served as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Laurie McKinnon on the Montana Supreme Court, and then for the Honorable Judge James Reynolds on the First Judicial District Court of Montana.
While clerking in Helena, Melanie served as Secretary of the First Judicial District Bar Association, where she organized CLEs for its members.
In 2018, Melanie settled in Hamilton in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley with her partner Thomas.
Melanie worked for the Montana Office of the Public Defender for the past 3 years, focusing on Dependency and Neglect cases, Involuntary Commitments, and Criminal Defense.
Melanie has recently joined Bitterroot Law with an emphasis on Family Law, Abuse and Neglect, Guardianships, Domestic Violence, Victim’s Rights, and Patient’s Rights.
All attorneys take different approaches to law and Melanie focuses on obtaining positive, long-lasting outcomes for her clients. Talking to a lawyer is one of the most stressful situations a person can experience and her goal is to make sure her clients are treated with respect and subjected to as little stress as possible.
She does this by setting clear expectations with her clients while protecting their rights, advancing their interests, and working diligently to meet their legal needs. She prides herself on her out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to the unique circumstances presented by each of her clients.
She does not believe that one-size-fits-all when it comes to working with her clients to find a solution that fits their life and their goals.
Melanie spends her free time with her partner Thomas and their two exceptional dogs: Mr. Reynolds and Doodlebug.
Mr. Reynolds is commonly found at the Bitterroot Law Office greeting clients and accepting treats.
In the summers, Melanie can be found camping on Montana’s incredible public lands with her dogs and Thomas.
They are both avid birders and are members of the National and Bitterroot Audubon Society.
When not enjoying the outdoors she can be found reading, indoor gardening, and playing D&D.