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Melissa Cefalu

Divorce and separation Attorney at New York, NY

5.0   9 reviews

Licensed for 8 years

Virtual consultation available

About Melissa

Learn Melissa’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    51%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law. This includes divorce, separation, custody, visitation, domestic violence, child support and spousal support issues, the distribution of marital assets including business assets, as well.

    3 years

  2. Family
    40%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law. This includes divorce, separation, custody, visitation, domestic violence, child support and spousal support issues, the distribution of marital assets including business assets, as well.

  3. Alimony
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  4. Child abuse
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  5. Child custody
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  6. Child support
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  7. Domestic violence
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  8. LGBT+ Law
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  9. Marriage and prenuptials
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  10. Mediation
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

  11. Uncontested divorce
    1%
    My entire practice is dedicated to matrimonial and family law.

Melissa R. Cefalu commenced her career as a corporate attorney specializing in investments and securities where she worked as counsel for some of the largest asset managers in the world. This knowledge serves her well in all aspects of her practice, from drafting and negotiating matrimonial agreements, structuring the distribution of complex financial assets and investments, and her ability to effectively advocate on behalf of her clients in mediations, dispute resolutions, and court.

Ms. Cefalu discovered her calling to transition from the corporate sector to matrimonial and family law as a result of her own personal experience of going through the divorce process. As a result of her experience and personality, Ms. Cefalu is extremely adept to understanding the needs of her clients. It is with such compassion and vigor that Ms. Cefalu approaches each individual matter in the best interests of her clients and their families. 

Ms. Cefalu was born and raised in New York City and attended St. John’s University where she applied for and was accepted into the university’s joint-degree program, receiving a B.A. and M.A. in English with a minor in Philosophy. Subsequently, Ms. Cefalu applied and was accepted into Hofstra University’s School of Law’s joint-degree program, receiving a J.D. in Law and M.B.A. in finance.

While in law school, Ms. Cefalu served as a member of the Hofstra Law Review and as President and Editor-in-Chief of Hofstra Law’s Moot Court Board.

Some of Ms. Cefalu's current recreational interests include reading, yoga, golf, dining out, traveling, playing chess, snowboarding, surfing, visiting museums and art galleries.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 8 years
State CT
Status Active
Acquired 2017
Updated 06/10/2019
State NY
Status Currently Registered
Acquired 2016
Updated 06/05/2022
State NJ
Status Active
Acquired 2014
Updated 06/29/2020

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Melissa

Bryant & Bleier, LLP

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
5 Star
 
100%
4 Star
 
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3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
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1 Star
 
0%
Posted by anonymous | August 24, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommened
Melissa is an exceptional, knowledgeable, and sincerely caring attorney. From our first time speaking together, I knew I found the best attorney to represent me in my child custody case because she is very well informed about family court. She guided me with which documents I needed and kept me updated throughout the case with the paperwork filings. I am truly thankful of her for explaining the process and legal terms as well as providing advise during that emotional time for me.
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Posted by Selcuk | July 28, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent communicator, court room litigator and researcher
I hired Melissa's firm to represent me in a very nasty divorce. Melissa was kind, knowledgeable, pleasant and also gave excellent advice. She was very thorough browsing through paperwork, receipts and old documents. She is also knowledgeable in commercial property matters as my divorce involved joint ownership of two residential buildings in Manhattan. She stands tall in court, able to produce accurate and beneficial answers. My story was complex and multi layered over a long span of marriage and she was able to internalize it all. She is also a hard worker. It was not unusual for m to get emails from her late at night and she always kept me in the loop and made me aware of all the steps. I am forever grateful for the representation I received from her. She is highly recommended.
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Posted by Kris Siraj | March 30, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good vibes, better results
I was very happy and satisfied with my outcome. Melissa Cefalu helped me through a difficult time in my life. I feel as though I couldnt have picked someone better to handle my case.
Posted by Michelle | February 4, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend
Melissa stepped in to cover another attorney during my divorce. She was incredibly professional, helpful and responsive. She was prompt in responding to emails and always took the time to explain when I had questions. While you never want to find yourself in that situation, Melissa is the person you want taking you through it. She made a difficult process a lot easier and I am incredibly grateful to her for that. I highly recommend her!
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Posted by anonymous | November 22, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Dedicated and detail oriented
Ms. Cefalu has really helped me navigate a difficult and protracted family court proceeding with care and expertise. Her finance and business background was very useful and her attention to detail really allowed me to know that I was in great hands legally. She is friendly and her dedication was unlike anything I had with previous representation. I would highly recommend her for any family law matters. She was a superior litigator and easy to work with and we made a good team, making sure all documents and supporting evidence were organized and submitted properly. She is the best and it's easy to understand why is a rising star in NYC. I feel fortunate to have had her fight for me.
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Posted by anonymous | September 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Made it an easy process!!!!
I was going through a nasty divorce from my partner and wanted an uncontested divorce to be as easy and seamless as possible… thanks to Melissa it was! She was very understanding and compassionate about my situation and didn’t make me feel like she was just hired help. She helped make one of the most difficult moments in my life so much easier. So thankful I found her and highly recommend her services!
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Posted by David | September 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very professional
I'm not a fan of paperwork so Ms. Cefalu worked on my divorce I knew I made the right choice. She was a professional who treated me as I was the most important person and that meant a lot during this period in my life. I told Ms. Cefalu what I wanted from the divorce and she typed it up. When everything was said and done, I looked it over and liked what I saw. Ms. Cefalu sent the paperwork in and now I am a happy customer. Any questions I had were answered and I will be going to Ms. Cefalu if I ever need to for further legal advice or counseling.
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Posted by Richie | January 9, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Divorce and Family Law Attorney
Divorce is never easy. After my first attorney failed I was recommended to Melissa. And so glad I did! Working with Melissa was a great experience. Her compassion, expertise, and knowledge about the law was impeccable. She handled my divorce to achieve the best outcome in a very difficult decision in my life...
Posted by anonymous | January 8, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend! Melissa is amazing!
I hired Melissa for a child custody case. She came highly recommended to me by a friend who used her for a recent divorce. Needless to say, I was very stressed going into this, so I was relieved that Melissa took the time to explain the process step by step. Melissa navigated the situation with such finesse and we reached a settlement that I'm so happy about. She always responded promptly to any questions I had, and she was always patient and thorough discussing our options. Highly recommend Melissa to anyone looking for a family law attorney!!
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Cost

We have not found any cost information for this lawyer

Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Associate
  • Bryant & Bleier, LLP
  • 2019 - Present
  • Associate
  • Stark & Stark, A Professional Corporation
  • 2018 - 2019
  • Associate General Counsel
  • AQR
  • 2016 - 2018
  • Director Counsel
  • Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
  • 2014 - 2016
View all work experience

Education

  • Hofstra University School of Law
  • JD/MBA - Juris Doctorate and MBA
  • 2014
  • St John's University
  • MA - Masters
  • 2013
  • St John's University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2012

Associations

  • New York Women's Bar Association
  • Executive Committee
  • 2022 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Executive Committee
  • 2022 - Present
  • New York State Women's Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2021 - Present
  • New York Women's Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2021 - Present
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2021 - Present
  • New York County Lawyers' Association
  • Member
  • 2020 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2022
  • Top 10 Attorneys Under 40
  • National Academy Of Family Law Attorneys
  • 2022
  • Top Lawyer
  • Thomson Reuters
  • 2022
  • New York Metro Rising Stars
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2021
  • Top 10 Attorneys Under 40
  • National Academy Of Family Law Attorneys
  • 2021
  • Dean's List
  • Hofsra University School of Law
  • 2014
  • Finalist, Intramural Competition
  • Hofstra Trial Advocacy Association
  • 2013
  • Semifinalist and Recipient of Outstanding Brief Award
  • Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition 2012
  • 2012
  • Dean's List
  • Hofstra University School of Law
  • 2012
  • Quarterfinalist, Intramural Competition
  • Hofstra Law Moot Court Board
  • 2011
View all awards

Publications

Attorney endorsements

Received (22)
Given (69)
Family Attorney | Feb 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse attorney Melissa Cefalu . Her answers are right on point and provide useful guidance. Attorney Cefalu is competent and dedicated to serving her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Dec 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Cefalu is dedicated in using her skills in family law and divorce to assist her clients during trying times. Her approach is compassionate and dedicated, coupled with strategic finesse regarding her clients' best interests. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ms. Cefalu is an asset to the AVVO community. She generously lends her time in providing insightful answers in the family law arena. Not only is she a lawyer, she has an MBA."
Family Attorney | Oct 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ms. Cefalu has remarkable educational credentials that make her a formidable advocate for her clients - communication evidenced by her Masters in English and serving on her law school's Law Review, finance with her Masters in Business Administration, and legal skills through her Juris Doctor from law school. She uses all three daily representing her clients. I am pleased to endorse her."
Family Attorney | Oct 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Melissa has great customer reviews and specializes in family law issues. Attorneys who work in too many areas of practice often don't know the ins-and-outs of each specific area. Almost impossible if you ask me. Also, while no one goes into a marriage thinking about divorce, Melissa has shared her personal experience and understands what her clients are going through. Clearly an attorney who cares about her clients and wants to help."
Family Attorney | Oct 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Melissa is a an excellent advocate that fights hard for her clients. She can be trusted by her clients to give their case her very best. Her passion shines through on every case she handles."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Oct 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Attorney Cefalu. Her experience and compassion is exemplified by the detailed responses within the AVVO community and forum."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
LGBT+ Law Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Melissa Cefalu for Divorce and Family Law. Her answers on this forum speak greatly about her experience, and how much she cares about her clients."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse lawyer Cefalu. Ms. Cefalu's many thoughtful and helpful answers on the Avvo forum are a real service to the community she serves."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Other
"I endorse Melissa as it is clear that she cares about her clients and maintains high and ethical standards and legal knowledge to represent her clients to the best of her ability."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Cefalu brings her experience and approach as a "corporate lawyer" into the world of family law. That approach always translates into excellence for the clients, who get to enjoy the methodological approach, while getting the carrying and insightful touch that she displays in her responses on AVVO. I endorse her!"
Family Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Ms. Cefalu. Her broad experience and her personal involvement in family law make her an excellent lawyer to advocate for her clients. She has received spectacular reviews from her clients and provides precise and informative responses to questions on this forum."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"The answers of Ms. Cefalu are consistently accurate, full of analysis, and customized to the needs of the Avvo asker. These are exactly the qualities that every client would look for when hiring an attorney."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Attorney Melissa Cefalu. Her education and experience make her exceedingly well suited to handling complex situations and personalities and getting outstanding results for those lucky enough to be her clients."
Uncontested divorce Attorney | Oct 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. She is very knowledgeable about a broad variety of family law matters."
Family Attorney | Oct 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Attorney Melissa Cefalu. Her compassion, confidence and knowledge of the law come through her answers and I appreciate her valuable insights on the clients’ questions on this forum. She clearly takes time to address the clients’ family law questions. Thank you."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Oct 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Melissa. She provides terrific guidance for people going through a divorce or child custody battle."
View more endorsements
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