TAMPA, FL – Deeply rooted in her commitment to empowering others, Shumaker Lawyer and Senior Advisor of Business-to-Business Relationships for Shumaker Advisors Florida, LLC, Melanie S. Griffin, has been named President of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL) Board of Directors, effective June 1, 2021. Melanie’s involvement with the HAWL Board began in 2014, where over the years, she has held various positions, including Membership Co-Chair, 2014-2015; Mentoring Co-Chair, 2015-2018, At-Large Director, 2015-2018; Florida Association of Women Lawyers Liaison, 2016-2017; Treasurer, 2018-2019; Vice President of Programs, 2019-2020; and President-Elect, 2020-2021.
“Melanie Griffin is an inspiration! She uses her success and the spotlight that shines on her to lift other women lawyers up, inspire them to be the best that they can be, and help them along the way to doing so,” said Lawyer and Past HAWL President Katherine Yanes. “Melanie has a longstanding commitment to HAWL’s mission of promoting gender equality in the legal profession and under the law, and she will do a great job leading the organization.”
With more than 300 members, HAWL promotes and recognizes the contributions of women within the legal profession and judiciary, improves the administration of justice, disseminates legal knowledge to all members of the community and particularly to women, and improves relations among members of the Bar, the Judiciary, and the public.
“In recent years, women lawyers have continued making great strides in the legal profession, such as by opening lactation rooms in multiple courthouses across Florida, advocating for passage of the Continued Parental Leave Rule, and increasing the number of practicing female attorneys, including those serving in partnership and leadership roles,” said Melanie. “It is exciting to have the opportunity to continue working on such diversity, equity, and inclusion issues at the heart of our Chapter, including meaningful programming that empowers our membership and helps them shine their brightest.”
Melanie declared her love of the law and passion for serving others as a lawyer at the age of eight, when she dressed as an attorney for Halloween, complete with fake glasses and a leather briefcase. After building her business and legal toolkit as a triple-graduate of The Florida State University (Business Finance, 2003; MBA, 2006; JD, 2006), Melanie served a prestigious statewide Florida law firm for more than 13 years, the last five years of which she was an equity shareholder and the Tampa Office Managing Partner. She now uses the skills honed during her successful legal career to serve Shumaker’s legal clients as an Of Counsel attorney and Shumaker Advisors’ clients as Senior Advisor Business-to-Business Relationships.
Maintaining an AV Preeminent™ rating by Martindale–Hubbell since her fourth year of practice, Melanie has advised and represented businesses of all sizes and types in commercial disputes and litigation, ranging from simple breach of contract actions, to complex commercial cases involving intellectual property issues, real estate actions, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, tortious interference with contracts and business relationships, and substantive employment law issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. She has also represented individuals and entities in trust and estate litigation, having handled several multi-million dollar disputes for prominent Florida families.
Melanie’s unique ability to connect with others, heightened analytical skills, excellent written work product, and keen business acumen laser-focused on the client’s best interests distinguish her as a consummate professional. Her clients are also best served as a result of the extensive network she has cultivated during her career, including as the 2011-12 President of the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers (CFAWL), then the largest women lawyers organization in Florida with more than 500 members, and 2013-14 President of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, one of the largest young lawyer organizations in the country with over 25,000 constituents.
As a result of her significant contributions to the legal community, Melanie has been recognized in Super Lawyers for twelve consecutive years, Florida Trend Legal Elite for ten years, and Best Lawyers in America the past five consecutive years. She is the recipient of some of Florida’s highest legal honors, including Florida’s Most Productive Young Lawyer Award (2009), Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year Legal Services Finalist and Angie Joseph Excellence in Mentorship Award (2016), The Florida Bar YLD Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award (2018), The Florida Bar SSFS Mentor of the Year Award (2019), and the FSU College of Law Alumni Association Service Award. In 2019, Melanie was one of 50 women lawyers in the U.S. and Canada selected for inclusion in the book 50 Lessons for Women Lawyers from Women Lawyers. Her Lesson, “Dream Beyond Perfection,” is published as Lesson #20.