Through Scholz Nonprofit Law, Melissa unites her expertise in nonprofit law with 25 years of experience as a community leader and fundraiser. Prior to forming Scholz Nonprofit Law in 2007, Melissa worked at a large Wisconsin law firm and developed a broad knowledge of legal issues affecting nonprofits. She brings this tax and business savvy into her own firm, where she is able to tailor her service to the unique needs of nonprofits and mission-driven businesses.
Melissa Scholz grew up in California and received her B.A. in History from Stanford University. While at Stanford she helped start the Stanford Public Service Center, which became a national model for other centers – including UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service. She received her J.D. from University of Wisconsin Law School in 1995, where she graduated cum laude and as a member of the Order of the Coif. Currently, Melissa lives in Madison with her husband, Karl, and her three daughters. Two favorite pastimes are running with friends and hiking in Montana with her family.
Legal Experience includes:
- seven years as principal attorney/owner of Scholz Nonprofit Law LLC representing over 200 nonprofit organizations throughout the country.
- clinical instructor for the UW-Madison Law School Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic lecturing on legal issues affecting nonprofits and supervising student attorneys working on legal matters for nonprofits.
- twelve years of practicing law in a large law firm, Godfrey & Kahn (LaFolletteSinykin), serving as a member of the Corporate, Healthcare, Political and Tax practice groups. Practice included general corporate and tax advice for tax-exempt groups, ranging from large hospital systems to small community-based organizations. Work included contracts, financing transactions, governance issues, tax advice for 501(c)(3), (c)(4) and (c)(6) organizations, healthcare compliance, and guidance on lobbying and political activities.
Community Experience includes:
- UW-Madison Morgridge Center for Public Service Advisory Board
- A Fund for Women-Madison Executive Committee; Chair, Donor Engagement Committee
- Chair, Pro Bono Trust Fund, Dane County Bar Association
- Founding member of Center For Change, a collaborative project of Community Shares of Wisconsin, at which she provides pro bono legal services to small nonprofits
- Volunteer Racial Equity workgroup for Madison public schools
- Porchlight, Inc., former President and Director; volunteer, Capital Campaign committee
- Community Action Coalition, Director
- Girl Scout troop leader
- Leadership Greater Madison
Other Experience includes:
- Founding employee of the national non-profit organization, Campus Compact
- Professional fundraiser for the University of Wisconsin Foundation
- Elected member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors
- Co-founder of a start-up ice cream company
- “What is Collaboration? A Legal Perspective for Nonprofits,” Wegner CPAs Roundtable Series
- “Social Ventures 101,” Communiversity, University of Wisconsin – Madison
- “Guidelines for Advocacy by Nonprofits,” and “Responsibilities of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations,” United Way
Jessica Y. Harrison joined Scholz Nonprofit Law in the spring of 2010. Jessica began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the firm, Jessica was an instructor of legal writing and analysis at the University of Wisconsin Law School in the East Asian Legal Studies Center. Jessica is a 2000 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she was Senior Articles Editor of the Wisconsin Law Review.
Jessica Harrison grew up in Kentucky and received her B.A. from Duke University in 1993. In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing tennis and soccer, spending time with her spouse, and chauffeuring their two children.