Melanie is a Staff Attorney in the San Francisco office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. She works on employment-based immigration. Since entering law school and continuing throughout her legal career, Melanie has focused on the practice of immigration law.

Melanie began her legal career as an Attorney Advisor at the San Francisco Immigration Court through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, where she assisted Immigration Judges draft written decisions. After completing her clerkship, Melanie joined the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) Office of Chief Counsel as an Associate Counsel in the San Francisco Field Office. While at USCIS, Melanie provided legal advice regarding naturalization, adjustment of status, family-based visas, federal litigation, removability, and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She also had the opportunity to participate in refugee details abroad and adjudicated refugee applications in Kenya and El Salvador. Following her time with USCIS, Melanie spent one year as a Staff Attorney at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, working for the research unit focused on immigration cases. While studying in law school, Melanie interned at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the case Prosecutor v. Hategekimana. She also participated in her law school’s immigration clinic where she represented a client before the Immigration Judge at the Tacoma Detention Center. Additionally, she interned with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, where she assisted trial attorneys who prosecuted human rights violators and war criminals living in the United States. Prior to law school, Melanie worked for a refugee resettlement agency in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.

Education & Admissions

Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Classics from the University of Kentucky
Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington
Admitted to: State Bar of California


American Immigration Lawyers Association