Melissa Houghtaling has bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul where she focused her studies in tax, estate planning, and family law. While in law school, Melissa received the Cali Award in Feminist Jurisprudence, the Elder Law Excellence Scholarship, and became a Rule 114 qualified neutral in mediation and arbitration.
Prior to joining the tax court, Melissa was a litigator in private practice focusing in the areas of family law, estate planning, employment discrimination, and landlord/tenant. Melissa continues to work as a per diem Conciliation Court Referee for the Fourth and Second Judicial Districts and donates her time as a Commissioner on the St. Paul Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission and as a volunteer with the Volunteer Lawyers Network. She has taught Family & Gender Issues in Law and Legal Research & Writing at Hamline University since 2012 and Family Law at Inver Hills Community College since 2011. Melissa has been published by Minnesota CLE and Lavender Magazine on topics related to same-sex families and marriage equality.
Melissa has been recognized as one of the Best LGBT Attorneys Under the Age of 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association, distinguished as a Minnesota Super Lawyer in 2014, 2015, and 2016, selected as the Favorite Female Family Law Attorney by the Minnesota Women's Press in 2016, and has been selected for Mpls. St. Paul Magazine’s 2017 class of Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota.