Melissa Keyes (she/her) is a California estate planning attorney, entrepreneur, and activist. Her work focuses on educating and elevating women.
In 2022, after 14 years of litigation practice, Melissa turned her focus to estate planning with the goal of getting and keeping more money in more women’s hands. For the first time in American history, women have access to both the legal and practical tools necessary for wealth building. Melissa started Jane Legal to ensure that the legacies women are building now are being built strategically, with sensitivity to the unique challenges we face and an eye toward passing that wealth to the next generations.
Melissa earned her J.D. from University of California, Hastings (UCLaw) in 2008, and practiced patent litigation in the Silicon Valley for the next eight years with the law firms White & Case, Cooley, and Fenwick & West. In a career highlight, she defended Facebook in its first patent trial. In 2014, Melissa opened her own firm and, in 2017, expanded her practice to include public interest litigation. In that capacity, she represented elderly wildfire victims in their suit against PG&E and a whistleblower in their First Amendment case against the County of Marin.
Melissa is also a Zen practitioner and secular mindfulness student. As a woman of color, Melissa focuses her spiritual study on inclusivity and equity, and is committed to maintaining an open door to clients of all ethnicities, genders and gender expressions, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, and national origins.
Before practicing law, Melissa was a photographer in London, a software developer in Virginia, and she graduated from Stanford University in 1997.