Melissa O’Connell received her J.D. with a concentration in Public Interest and Social Justice from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2003. Melissa was one of the founding practitioners with Fresh Lifelines for Youth (F.L.Y.), a legal non-profit working with at-risk youth in Santa Clara County. Melissa was a Public Defender in Solano County representing indigent clients charged with various misdemeanor and felony level offenses. With that trial experience, Melissa went on to join a boutique criminal defense firm in Berkeley, CA and practiced in multiple jurisdictions throughout Northern California. In January 2010, Melissa returned to Santa Clara School of Law where she currently serves as a Staff Attorney for the Northern California Innocence Project’s DNA Unit. As a Lecturer in Law, Melissa has taught courses in Advanced Legal Writing, Interviewing & Counseling, and served as Coach for the Juvenile External Honors Moot Court Competition.