Melissa Rake represents employers on employment law and labor relations.
An effective litigator with extensive California state and federal court experience, Melissa diligently advocates for clients across various sectors—technology, finance, retail, entertainment, and nonprofit—in and out of the courtroom. She handles all litigation matters in single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class actions, guiding and defending her clients through their most complex employment disputes including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, performance, pay equity, benefits, and wage-hour claims.
Melissa works to protect her clients before disputes reach the litigation stage, advising HR departments on policies and practices, employment agreements and handbooks, and legal compliance. She has conducted on-site employee interviews for wage-hour class actions and led sexual harassment supervisor trainings. She also has valuable experience with regulators such as OSHA and has successfully defended against government enforcement actions and whistleblower claims at trial.
Melissa helps clients through all stages of litigation, from pretrial motions to direct and cross-examination to settlement negotiations and appeals. Melissa's employment representation extends to pro bono work where she has drafted employment-related agreements for nonprofit organizations and assisted immigrants on visa applications.
Admitted to Practice
J.D., University of California, San Francisco, 2021
- Moot Court Board Member, Brief Editor, and Student Coach
- National Semi-Finalist at William B. Spong Jr. Moot Court Tournament
- National Appellate Advocacy Competition
- NYU Immigration Law Competition
- National Online Moot Court Competition
- Second Best Brief at David E. Snodgrass Intramural Moot Court Competition
- Best Appellate Brief Award in Legal Research & Writing II
- Teaching Assistant for Legal Research & Writing II and Appellate Advocacy
- Vice President: Hastings Intellectual Property Society
- Pilipinx American Law Society
- Women's Law Society
B.S., Environmental Studies with Emphasis in Oceanic & Atmospheric Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2017
- 4-Year Division I Track and Field Athlete: NCAA Regional Qualifier (and Broke the All-Time School Record) for the Javelin Throw
- MVP at Big West Academic All-Conference
- Ms. Gaucho Leadership Award
- Litigation Associate, 2021-2023; Summer Associate, 2020 – Paul Hastings LLP, San Francisco
- Law Clerk, Hassell Law Group PC, San Francisco, 2019
- Legal Intern, Yukevich Cavanaugh, Los Angeles, 2017-2018