In 2012, after several years in the public interest sector, Melissa A. Cook ventured into private family law practice and recently formed the Law Office of Melissa A. Cook, PLLC. As a former mental health provider, Melissa developed clinical skills in complex family dynamics, mental illness, substance abuse, along with abuse and neglect issues. Melissa’s expertise in these areas prove invaluable to the clients she represents in family law matters. Regarded as efficient, competent, and well-organized by colleagues and peers, Melissa’s clients are put at ease with her by their side as they embark on their family law matter.
Becoming a member of the State Bar of Texas after graduating from the University of Houston Law Center in 2006, Melissa began her legal career focusing on statewide mental health policy as a postdoc fellow with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin. Drawing on previous experience in child welfare, Melissa served as a founding staff attorney for the Travis County Office of Parental Representation; a civil public defender’s office serving indigent parents involved in the Child Protective Services system. Merging expertise in policy development with a commitment in removing barriers for indigent Texans, Melissa worked with the State Bar of Texas to increase access to the civil justice system by supporting legal aid and pro bono providers.
Melissa recently completed her appointment to the 2014 Austin Bar Association/Austin Young Lawyers Association Leadership Academy. In service to her community and profession, Melissa currently volunteers at free legal clinics through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Wright House Wellness Center (WHWC) and is a member of the Legislative Committee of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. Previously, Melissa served on the Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force Monitoring Committee and the Disability Issues Committee of the State Bar of Texas. Melissa is frequently invited to speak on a variety of legal, policy, and mental health topics.
Born and raised in Texas, calling Austin home since 1998, Melissa enjoys spending time with family and friends. Melissa frequents Austin landmarks such as Dart Bowl, Alamo Drafthouse, and the Texas Chili Parlor. Graduating with honors at Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin, Melissa also holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work. She is excited to bring her passion for advocacy and commitment to families to the Law Office of Melissa A. Cook, PLLC.