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 multimillion 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. In 2021-22, she will serve as President of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers (HAWL).
As a result of her significant contributions to the legal community, Melanie has been recognized in Super Lawyers (Rising Star, Business Litigation 2010-19), Florida Trend Legal Elite (Up & Comer 2010-14, Commercial Litigation 2014-18), and Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation 2018-20). 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 BusinessWoman 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), and The Florida Bar SSFS Mentor of the Year Award (2019). In 2019, Melanie was one of 50 women lawyers in the US 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.
Melanie is happiest when she is celebrating and empowering all those around her, including her husband Mike, son Maverick, and Golden Lab Molly.