Western Michigan University – Thomas M. Cooley Law School LL.M. Homeland and National Security Law
Western Michigan University – Thomas M. Cooley Law School J.D. International Law
Oakland University – BA Spanish and English
State Bar of Michigan, 2013
Ever since she was young, Melissa Winkler has enjoyed traveling internationally and meeting people from different cultures such as Spain, France, Italy, Mexico, and Peru. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she decided to translate that passion into a career in immigration law. As a law student she volunteered with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and at an immigration law clinic as well as a firm that specialized in family-based immigration law.
Since joining FGI as an attorney, Melissa has focused on entrepreneur-based visa programs, all business-based immigration, and conducting legal research for the firm. She has also researched and presented on STEM OPT visa extensions. As she says, “I love that on a daily basis I get to help companies acquire the best and brightest talent, fuel the U.S. economy, and help people fulfill their dreams of working in the United States.”
A prolific writer, Melissa has authored the sections on H-1Bs and EB-5s for the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide (LexisNexis, 2016) as well as articles including “Educating the Best and Brightest Only to Send Them Home? The STEM OPT Extension Rule and Its Impact on Students and Companies” (Westlaw, 2016), “Legal Developments in E-2: The Growing Use of the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa in a Changing Political World Culture” (Westlaw, 2017 forthcoming), and numerous pieces for the International Law Office.
Melissa is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Detroit Economic Club, and the Oakland County Executive Elite 40 Under 40, Class of 2015. She earned her BA in Spanish and English from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, her J.D. with a specialization in International Law and her LL.M. in Homeland and National Security Law both from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she was also senior editor for the Homeland and National Security Law Review and president of the International Law Society. She enjoys marathon running, skiing, creative writing, reading, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.