Melanie GiaMaria is a passionate advocate known for her relentless pursuit of justice, her fairness and her wicked sense of humor. Clients love that Melanie is completely relatable and delivers solutions that honor the dignity of everyone involved.
“After 41 years of marriage, I'm trying to get a divorce! Melanie was more than accommodating to my concerns through the entire process. So much so that my ex-husband even gave her shining reviews on her representation of me! How often does that happen?!” —Dawn Ring
“I don't think I've ever met a lawyer with such compassion for all concerned, as Melanie displayed in her representation of my then wife. She is a wonderful person!” —Dave Ring
In 2002, Melanie was a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, earning degrees in both law and social work. She was also interning at Women's Re-Entry Network, a program of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) that helps participants re-enter society in such a way as to enhance self-sufficiency and reduce the risk of recidivism. She formed a support group for victims of sexual abuse and her career course as an advocate and protector was charted.
The following year, Melanie began her legal practice while working as a licensed social worker with Women’s Re-Entry. She stayed with the program until 2006, when she became LMM’s staff attorney. In 2009, she became the program supervisor for Comprehensive Case Management Services for LMM’s Community Re-Entry. She has also been and continues to be the attorney for the Families at Risk program participants of the Jewish Family Services Association.
“As a man, I knew it was going to be challenging to get full custody of my daughter. I could not repay Melanie enough for how hard she fought for me. Without her, I don’t know where my daughter would be, but with her help my little girl hasn’t left my sight since.” —Jonathan Fritz
In 2014, Melanie left LMM to devote more time and energy to her practice. Her clients are referred privately, by caseworkers through Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Jewish Family Services Association, WomenSafe, Fathers and Families Together, and appointed by the Cuyahoga County Courts.
Melanie is a wife, mother, aunt, speaker, volunteer and creative organizer. Melanie established and facilitated several local prison pet programs in the Cleveland area for many years. These programs not only save animals, but also help the caretakers rehabilitate while giving back to the community. These programs are now handled and maintained by Berea Animal Rescue Friends. Melanie has served on numerous boards throughout her career and currently serves on the boards of Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute and the Nancy R. McDonnell Cuyahoga County Community Based Corrections Facility.
Melanie is also a Top Attorney of North America and an adjunct professor and lecturer for Case Western Reserve University, School of Law in the Human Trafficking Law Clinic. She provides legal services to primarily juvenile victims of sex trafficking, many of which are participating in the Safe Harbor docket of Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. For more information visit Case Western Reserve University, School of Law.
“I still feel grateful to Melanie to this day for her supportive and professional representation of me. She is always working towards a peaceful solution and I trust her not only as my lawyer, but as my friend.” —Jessica Stricker