Melissa Odama Hart, Attorney at Law
I grew up knowing I wanted to be an attorney. During WWII, my dad was born in an internment camp in Colorado and the injustice of this has resonated throughout my life and has made me distinctly aware of when others are mistreated.
I went to school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, but graduated cum laude from Seattle Pacific University in 2000. I was accepted into Seattle University School of Law and graduated in 2003.
Since passing the bar in 2003, I worked at my dream job as a public defender at the Associated Counsel for the Accused for approximately eight years representing indigent clients in King County in Seattle Municipal Court, Juvenile Court, and Superior Court. I learned everything I could about the criminal justice system and did as many jury trials as I possibly could.
In wanting to be the most well-rounded attorney I possibly could be, I also worked as in-house counsel for a large insurance company and learned the defense side of personal injury law. I learned how to process and evaluate claims and how to litigate cases from the insurance defense perspective. I have taken what I have learned and now proudly represent fault-free plaintiffs injured in car accidents. There is so much satisfaction in helping my clients get the justice they deserve.
In July 2011, I was one of 54 lawyers out of the entire country accepted into the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. This changed my practice of law. I learned how to effectively tell someone’s story by honing in on their universal truth. We are all here together. We are all part of this community.