Mellissa Schafer represents her clients in labor and employment matters as well as general liability claims. She defends employers facing a wide-range of employment disputes, which includes extensive experience with matters involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and wage and hour violations. She also counsels employers about their employment policies and risk management decisions.

In addition to her role as lead counsel for a national retailer, Mellissa represents a leading human resource company. She also works with various insurance companies, home health care facilities, hotels and other hospitality clients, as well as other retailers, to resolve their labor and employment issues.

Professional Background

Mellissa has been with Hinshaw for more than 15 years. She began her practice in the firm's Milwaukee office, where she focused on toxic tort cases and defended medical and legal professionals. After transferring to the firm's Los Angeles location, she began her specialization of representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment.

Mellissa was promoted to capital partner in July 2012, making her one of the youngest capital partners in the firm. In addition to managing the labor and employment group in Los Angeles, Mellissa is the National Business Development Leader for the firm's Labor and Employment practice and is on the firm's Hiring Committee and Executive Committee.


  • "Self-Expression in the California Workplace: How to Strike a Legal Balance in Drafting and Enforcing Dress, Grooming, and Bathroom Use Policies," 12th Annual California Employment Law Update, The Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California, October 12, 2017

  • "Comp Coast to Coast Workers' Compensation Strategies From a National Perspective," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2013

  • "General Principles of Workers' Compensation" and "Settlements & Return to Work Issues," Workers' Compensation Law & Practice Seminar, Sterling Education Services, Inc., Pasadena, California, October 2012
  • "Total Disability/Vocational Strategies," CWCDAA 2012 Annual Summer Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2012
  • "Utilization of the Vocational Expert in the Workers' Compensation Setting," VocEX 2011, Los Angeles, California, January 2011
  • "Implementing Successful Surveillance to Defeat Fraudulent Claims," Council on Education Management, Los Angeles, California, May 2005


  • "Brief Synopsis on Wisconsin Law Involving Subpoenas and Search Warrants," Risky Business, Wisconsin Society for Health Care Risk Management, January 2004

Blog Posts

J.D., Marquette University School of Law, 1999

  • Executive Editor, Marquette Sports Law Journal
  • Winner, American Jurisprudence Award in Health Care Provider Liability

B.S., University of Southern California, 1995