Melissa Ho, a shareholder in the Phoenix office of the national law firm Polsinelli, has been asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Justice Project (AJP). Since 1998 the Justice Project has been helping to overturn and prevent wrongful convictions in the State of Arizona. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to examine claims of innocence and manifest injustice, and provides legal representation for inmates believed to have been failed by the criminal justice system.
“It is an honor to be elected to the Board of Directors of an organization that works tirelessly to strengthen the criminal justice system.” said Melissa. “For a system of justice to be truly just, it must take steps to assist those who have been wrongfully convicted, falsely accused, or have suffered manifest injustice. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board to further its goals.”
Melissa previously worked on the Louis Taylor case, which received national visibility on CBS 60 Minutes. Taylor was released at the age of 58 after maintaining his innocence and being incarcerated for more than 42 years. Together with attorneys and volunteers from the Arizona Justice Project, Taylor was released after developments in arson science showed that the original investigation was flawed.
As a shareholder of the national law firm Polsinelli, Melissa works in the areas of government investigations and white collar criminal defense. She also dedicates her time to the State Bar of Arizona as a member of the Bar’s Board of Governors. Melissa is a former past president of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association. She has also served on numerous boards and commissions for the City of Phoenix, and volunteers her time on domestic violence, guardianship and immigration matters.
Last year, Melissa was the recipient of the Judge Learned Hand Emerging Leadership Award, which is a tribute to an attorney practicing twelve years or less who has demonstrated a commitment to the values of public or community service. She is also a past recipient of “Best Lawyers Under 40” awarded by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, an honor bestowed on only a select few attorneys in the United States. In 2013, she was chosen by the Phoenix Business Journal as a recipient of its “Forty Under 40” award honoring the best and brightest leaders in the Phoenix metro area. Melissa has also been named to the “Lawyers of Color Hot List” and recently was selected by AZ Business Magazine as a “Generation Next Forty Under Forty.” Most recently, Chambers USA, the world’s leading guide to the legal profession, ranked Melissa in its 2014 America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of Litigation: White Collar Crime. Southwest Super Lawyers named her as a Rising Star in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the category of Criminal Defense – White Collar.
Melissa earned her B.A. with honors and a B.S. from Arizona State University and her J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.