Melissa Sopher

Scholar Criminal Law / Post-Conviction
Class of 2021
Melissa Sopher

"The William Wayne Justice Center was a welcoming and supportive home for me throughout my time in law school. As a G. Rollie White Scholar, I was fortunate to immediately join this community of passionate and thoughtful students. I spent my 1L year participating in a variety of pro bono projects. As a 2L and 3L, I was deeply involved in a number of clinics and public interest student organizations. I am incredibly grateful for all of the guidance I received from the Justice Center faculty and staff!"

Melissa Sopher is a trial attorney with New York County Defender Services in New York City.

At Texas Law, Melissa participated in the Justice Center’s student advisory board and served as a staff editor for the Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. As a 2L, she was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association and a co-organizer of GRITS (Texas Law's annual, student-led "Getting Radical in the South" conference). She also helped lead Law Students Mentoring Undergraduates, which connects undergraduates interested in law with a law student mentor.

Melissa participated in the Criminal Defense Clinic, Capital Punishment Clinic, Immigration Clinic, and Housing Clinic. She also volunteered for a range of pro bono projects, assisting immigrants with asylum claims, and helping community members to expunge criminal records, recover driver licenses, and correct or update their names and/or gender markers on basic forms of identification.

The summer after her 1L year, Melissa worked for the Orleans Public Defender in New Orleans. The summer after her 2L year, she worked with New York County Defender Services.

Before coming to law school, Melissa worked as a paralegal at the Innocence Project in New York, where she helped clients overturn wrongful convictions based on DNA testing.