Experienced Guidance

When Life Gets Legal SM


Melissa R. Gillis

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I believe that an important key to being a successful attorney is adaptability. I adjust my strategy to suit each situation as it presents itself. I adapt to judges' styles as well as those of opposing counsel. Sometimes I have to be aggressive and take a hard-line stance, but sometimes it makes more sense to be flexible and negotiate. I also enjoy taking a client through a sometimes very emotional cycle to a satisfactory result. It makes me feel good at the end of the day when I've successfully guided somebody through a complex area of the law and accomplished their goals. My clients know that I have listened to their feelings, anxieties, fears and wishes, and have advocated for them accordingly.

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  • Quinnipiac University School of Law, Connecticut
    • J.D. - 2000
    • Honors: Distinguished Academic Achievement Award in Bankruptcy, 2000
    • Honors: Distinguished Academic Achievement Award in Representing Clients, 2000
    • Honors: Excellence in Clinical Workaround Award, 2000
    • Honors: Tax Litigation Award, 2000
  • Elms College
    • B.A. - 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 2002
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Speaker, Rebuilding Support Group, 2014 to 2014
  • Member, Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
  • Member, Pope Francis Preparatory School Athletic Booster Club,, 2019 to Present
  • Certified, Limited Assistance Representation Program with the Hampden County Probate and Family Court, 2009 to Present
  • Trustee, Elms College, 2016 to Present
  • Chair, Elms College, Buildings and Grounds Committee, 2018 to Present
  • Member, Elms College, Executive Committee, 2018 to Present

Classes & Seminars

  • Contributor, Family Law Bits
  • “Health Insurance as a Post-Divorce Issue, ” Family Law Bits
  • “Paying Child Support While Receiving SSDI,” Family Law Bits
  • “Separation Agreements: The Significance of Legalese...” Family Law Bits
  • Lecturer, Agawam Town Council, 2008

Professional Associations

  • Hampden County Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Real Estate Bar Association
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts Notary Public
  • Senior Partners for Justice Pro Bono Alliance, Member
  • Civility Standards sub-committee, Hampden County Bar, Member
  • Magistrate Protocol sub-committee, Hampden County Bar, Member
  • Court Conciliation Program, Hampden County Bar, Member
  • Human Rights Committee, The Association for Community Living, Member, 2009 to 2014
  • Women’s Business Owners Alliance of Pioneer Valley, Member, 2009 to Present
  • Women’s Partnership – Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, Inc., Member, 2009 to Present
  • Daisy Girl Scout Troop 557, Girl Scouts of America, Founder and Leader, 2008 to Present
  • Volunteer, Dial-A-Lawyer, 2008 to 2008
  • Volunteer, Walk for Autism
  • Member, Smart Start Preschool Parent Activity Board


  • Quoted: "I Don't, Anymore...Divorces Increasing Among Midlife" Prime Magazine, February 2014
  • Certified Mediator
  • Recipient, Distinguished Academic Achievement Awards in Bankruptcy & Representing Clients
  • Recipient, Excellence in Clinical Workaround Award
  • Recipient, Tax Litigation Award

Published Works

  • It’s that Time of Year Again: Careful Review, Renegotiation of Your Child’s IEP is Critical, Healthcare News, March 1, 2014
  • Is This the Time to Fight? When Divorce Is Complicated by Serious Medical Concerns, August 1, 2013
  • Custody of a Special-needs Child: Sometimes, It’s Better to Focus on Quality Parent Time, Not Quantity, April 1, 2013
  • Oh Dear, College is Here! - How can I get my Ex to Help Pay?, August 27, 2012
  • Insurance and Autistic Children: Update to ARICA Is Changing the Picture for Many Families, April 1, 2012
  • A Time for Change: Measure Reforming Alimony Is Certainly History in the Making, March 12, 2012
  • Transitional Planning in Special Ed: Start Early When Determining and Preparing for Life After School, December 1, 2011
  • For Good Measure Autism Insurance Legislation: What It Means for Your Child, August 1, 2011
  • Special Education What Every Parent Should Know About Their Child’s IEP, March 1, 2011
  • Developmental Delay or Disability? Making Early Identification of Your Child’s Special Needs, January 31, 2011
  • Special-education Assessment and the IEP - A Chance for You to Advocate for Your Child, July 10, 2010
  • Ten reasons to hire a lawyer for domestic-relations proceedings, April 27, 2009
  • Lecturer, Rebuilding Support Group, Southwick, MA, February, 2014