Mellissa Schafer concentrates her trial practice in the representation of employers in labor and employment matters as well as general liability claims. Ms. Schafer has a particular specialization in workers' compensation issues and has extensive experience handling all aspects of work injuries including discrimination and 132(a) claims, Serious and Willful claims, OSHA violations, and harassment. In addition, she has an emphasis handling claims on behalf of self insured employers.

Ms. Schafer represents and advises employers on all aspects of the law governing labor and employment. She is lead counsel for a national retailer and oversees their national program within the Firm. In addition, Ms. Schafer represents a leading human resource company, various insurance companies, home health care facilities, and multiple other retail and hospitality clients. Ms. Schafer has had multiple bench and jury trials in addition to numerous administrative trials in both Wisconsin and California.

Professional Background

Ms. Schafer joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in December 2002 in the Milwaukee office. While there, she focused her practice on toxic tort cases in addition to defending medical and legal professionals. In August 2003, Ms. Schafer transferred to the Los Angeles office where she began her specialization representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment. She was promoted to capital partner in July 2012, making her one of the youngest capital partners in the firm. Ms. Schafer manages the workers' compensation practice group in Los Angeles and is on the Firm's Hiring Committee.

Ms. Schafer is licensed in both California and Wisconsin.


  • "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