Melissa Adams attended Saint Bonaventure University on a softball scholarship. After playing Division I softball for two (2) years, she transferred to State University of New York at Geneseo to pursue a degree in English. After graduating with her B.A. in English, Ms. Adams accepted a full scholarship to the New England School of Law, located in Boston, Massachusetts. After her first year in law school, she spent several months studying abroad on the small island of Malta, located in the Mediterranean. Rejuvenated after her travels and studies, Ms. Adams returned to Boston for her second year of law school, during which time she received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Civil Motions Practice. Through a unique consortium program offered by New England School of Law, Ms. Adams spent her third year of law school studying at California Western School of Law located in San Diego, California. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the New England School of Law in May 2005.
Ms. Adams began her law practice in the civil field, first as a law clerk with the Boston-based firm, Cushner & Bloom, P.C., and later as an attorney with The McMillan Law Firm, APC based out of La Mesa, California. In both positions, Ms. Adams worked in the area of civil litigation, authoring countless motions, briefs and memoranda. Despite her proficiency in civil practice, Ms. Adams acknowledged early on that her calling was criminal defense. It was an internship with the San Diego County Alternate Public Defender's Office in the Spring of 2005 and the mentoring of two highly skilled attorneys with that office that convinced her that criminal defense would be her life-long devotion. It was a combination of the encouragement received from the interviewing attorney/supervisor Ms. Mary Beth Wirkus, and the wisdom and guidance from Ms. Melinda Willits-Sanchez, that inspired Ms. Adams to pursue a career in criminal defense.
In the Spring of 2006, Ms. Adams obtained a position with the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC, a premier boutique law firm dedicated to criminal defense located in San Diego, California. Ms. Adams spent the next two and a half years practicing as an attorney primarily in the San Diego area, but also in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, Imperial and Ventura counties. She handled both state and federal criminal cases. Ms. Adams also continued to practice civil litigation, albeit on a smaller scale.
Thousands of court appearances and multiple jury trials later, Ms. Adams relocated to Livermore, California to join the criminal defense firm, The Law Offices of Timothy B. Rien.
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|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section||Member||N/A|
|State Bar of California, Criminal Law Section||Member||N/A|
|Alameda County Bar Association, Criminal Court Appointed Attorneys Program||Member||N/A|
|National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||Member||N/A|
|California Public Defenders Association||Member||N/A|
|New England School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2005|
|Law Panel Discussion||Criminal Defense||2016|