UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law Announces Melissa Davis as New Clinical Director


Monday, April 13, 2020

Managing Attorney at New Hampshire Public Defender Office to Head UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law Criminal Practice Clinic

Melissa Davis

CONCORD, NH (April 13, 2020) – Melissa Davis, longtime staff attorney, managing attorney, and Trial Skills Program Leader at the New Hampshire Public Defender office, will become director of the Criminal Practice Clinic at the law school.  During her 15-year tenure at the Public Defender office, Davis not only advocated for clients, but mentored student interns and young attorneys.  As she progressed in her career, she realized she was drawn to teaching.

“The role of director of the Criminal Practice Clinic at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law allows me the best of both worlds,” said Davis.  “I am excited by a future of working with students, preparing them to be the best advocates for their clients inside, but also outside of the courtroom.”

UNH Franklin Pierce’s clinics allow students the opportunity to work with real clients on real cases under the supervision of expert faculty attorneys.  In the Criminal Practice Clinic, students work with low-income individuals as they face criminal charges in state court.  Students interview clients, investigate the facts, file motions, negotiate with prosecutors, and try cases before a judge or jury.

“We pair students with experts at UNH Franklin Pierce,” said Dean Megan Carpenter.  “Melissa Davis is an excellent public defender who not only knows the law, but she will be a resource for our students as they explore public interest and criminal law.  We’re fortunate to have her expertise.”

Davis hopes to instill a sense of confidence in her students.  She wants them to become competent and compassionate attorneys who understand how to build relationships with clients and deliver the best possible argument on behalf of someone whose voice needs to be heard in order for our system to be fair. 

“I’ve spent countless hours talking with new lawyers about the anxieties and demands of a client centered trial practice,” said Davis.  “I want to leave my future students as prepared as possible to handle the challenges that will come their way.”

Davis officially starts this August. 

About University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
Accredited by the American Bar Association, UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law is located in Concord, New Hampshire, and is ranked as one of the nation’s top 100 law schools and, for the 29th year in a row, a top 10 school for the study of intellectual property law.