Position: Senior Staff Attorney
Melissa Riess joined Disability Rights Advocates as a Staff Attorney in 2017 and became a Senior Staff Attorney in 2021. She has represented DRA’s individual and organizational clients on a wide range of issues, including in litigation challenging discrimination against people with disabilities in immigration detention facilities, fighting for accessible transportation and technology, and improving access to education for students with disabilities.
Prior to joining DRA, Ms. Riess represented individuals and small businesses in consumer class actions under RICO, fraud, and California’s Unfair Competition Law. She also coordinated strategic litigation to combat the displacement of people during conflict at the Norwegian Refugee Council, an international humanitarian organization. Ms. Riess received an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, a JD from Hastings College of Law, and an AB in Political Science from Brown University.« Back to All Staff