Melissa Cleary’s practice focuses on workers’ compensation. She has handled cases in the Civil District and Superior Courts of North Carolina, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the EEOC. She has also handled matters in all three Federal District Courts in North Carolina and has appeared before the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Having practiced law for over 20 years, Melissa understands that each client’s needs are different, and she tailors her approach to meet their specific needs. Melissa presents continuing education seminars for clients on a regular basis and was the first female defense attorney in North Carolina to be inducted into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. She has served in a number of leadership roles with the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN), including Vice President, Treasurer and Chair of the NWCDN’s Workers’ Compensation Symposium.

Outside of the office, Melissa enjoys working with animal rescue groups, playing tennis and traveling.

Practice Areas

  • Workers' Compensation


  • University of North Carolina (JD)
  • Saint Mary's College (BA, magna cum laude)

Professional Memberships

  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (Vice President, March – September 2015; Treasurer, 2011-2015; Chair of NWCDN Workers’ Compensation Symposium, 2011)
  • College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (Fellow, Class of 2015)

Bar Admissions

  • 1995 North Carolina
  • 2015 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Western, Middle and Eastern District of North Carolina


  • North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation Law

Community Involvement

  • Work with support animal rescue groups