Melissa is a Bay-Area-based attorney with a decade of legal experience. She is passionate about helping her clients navigate the legal system and protecting their rights. As a skilled negotiator, she genuinely enjoys working with people to find solutions to difficult problems. In addition to handling litigation matters, she also provides mediation services to those clients looking to avoid the stress and high cost of litigation.
Melissa graduated from John F. Kennedy University School of Law. While in law school, she interned with the Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco assisting the attorneys with legal research and working on cases involving environmental regulations and policy matters. Melissa received a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy with a minor in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.
Ms. Polk formerly worked as a Senior Associate Attorney at Beck Law Group, PC in Santa Rosa. While at the firm, she focused primarily on family law and civil litigation cases.
Melissa is committed to giving back to the local Bay Area community. She represents pro bono clients through the Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco. She also volunteers at the Alameda County Bar Association's Dissolution Clinic. She is a member of the Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections of the San Francisco Bar Association. Melissa is also an active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and the Family Law Section of the California State Bar. Melissa also serves as an attorney on the family law panel for the Contra Costa County Bar Association and the San Francisco Bar Associationís lawyer referral programs.
In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading, traveling, exploring new restaurants with friends and spending time with her husband and two kids.
Ms. Ham, who has recently joined the firm, has practiced exclusively in the field of family law since she was admitted to practice in 2009. She specializes in complex divorce, custody, support, guardianship, paternity, and domestic violence matters. Ms. Ham understands the complex emotional feelings a family law matter may cause someone and handles an individualís case with compassion and direction. A tough advocate, she fights vigorously for her clients in and out of court so that their interests are best represented.
Ms. Hamís interest in family law began when she was a rape crisis counselor for the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center (SADVC) while completing her bachelorís degree. During law school, she served as a legal intern for Women Empowered Against a Violent Environment (WEAVE) aiding low income litigants in completing divorce and restraining order paperwork. She believes there is a way to get through a complicated family law matter with grace and dignity.
Ms. Ham has not only practiced for established law firms in the San Francisco Bay Area, but she has also been an active member of Family Law Sections of the Contra Costa and Alameda County Bar Associations, serving as the Alameda County Family Law Sectionís Vice Chair from 2010 Ė 2012. She also served on the California State Bar Ė Family Law Section - Bay Area Regional Standing Committee, Family Law Sub-Committee of Delegates, and the Sacramento County Bar Association Delegation to the Conference of Delegates, all committees which researched, reviewed, and made recommendations on family law legislation. She has completed several courses including the California Family Law Report Advanced Family Law Course and a collaborative training seminar sponsored by the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group. Currently Ms. Ham is a Board Member for the California Young Lawyers Association.
Ms. Ham graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and Women & Gender Studies (Psychology & Sociology focus), and a minor in Sociology, with an emphasis in Law & Society. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence, with Distinction, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2009 with a specialization in trial advocacy. A member of the California Bar, Ms. Ham is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. She practices in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo County.