family juvenile law attorney lawyer

Melissa Chawla




Tel: 612-361-6180

Professional Info


A well-respected family and juvenile law attorney, Melissa was selected for inclusion in the elite 2019 Minnesota Super Lawyers list.  Additionally, Melissa was ranked in the Minnesota Top 50 Women and Top 100 Super Lawyers lists for 2019, distinctions awarded to those who have received the highest total points as part of the selection process.  In addition to her private practice, Melissa is dedicated to providing pro bono legal services on a regular basis and engaging with organizations that seek to improve the practice of law and the administration of justice. She was certified as a 2017 North Star Lawyer for providing over 50 hours of free legal services to low-income individuals on an annual basis.

Legal Experience
2014 - present      

Founding Partner & Attorney, DeWalt, Chawla + Saksena, LLC

2012 - 2013          
Adjunct Professor, William Mitchell College of Law

2005 - 2014
Attorney & Director, Walling, Berg & Debele, P.A.

2002 - 2005
Judicial Law Clerk, Fourth Judicial District Court

Certified Student Attorney, William Mitchell College of Law

Legal Extern, United States Immigration Court



William Mitchell College of Law, Juris Doctor

Saint Olaf College, Bachelor of Arts


Professional Memberships & Activities

Member, Minnesota State Bar Association, Family Law Section

Member, Hennepin County Bar Association, Family Law Section

Board Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter

Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Minnesota Chapter

Member, Minnesota Women Lawyers


Speaking Engagements & Publications


Co-Presenter with Jack DeWalt, Property Division and Defaults, Minnesota CLE, 2017

Panel Member, Maximizing Your Legal Team, Hamline University Center for Justice and Law and Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 2016

Presenter, Quick Answers to the Legal Questions That Friends, Relatives and Strangers Will Ask You at Cocktail Parties, The New Lawyer Experience, Minnesota CLE, 2016

Co-Presenter with Jack DeWalt, Early Case Management and Differences Among Counties/Districts, How to Handle a Divorce in Minnesota: Law Strategy & Forms, sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2015


Co-Author with Jack DeWalt, Early Case Management and Differences Among Counties/Districts, Minnesota Divorce Practice Deskbook, 2015


Presenter, Defaults, How to Handle a Divorce in Minnesota: Law Strategy & Forms, sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2015


Co-Author, Defaults, Minnesota Divorce Practice Deskbook, 2015


Plenary Session Speaker, The Affordable Care Act Update – 10 Reminders and Practice Tips for Minnesota Family Lawyers, Family Law Institute, sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2015


Speaker, Family Law Snapshot, The Affordable Care Act for the "Non-Health Lawyer,"  sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2014


Co-Presenter, The Intersection of the Affordable Care Act and Family Law, sponsored by Cooperative Practice Network, 2014

Presenter, The Impact of The Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Child Support Considerations, Advanced Family Law seminar, sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2013

Co-Author, The Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Divorced, or Never-Married, Parents in Minnesota, The Hennepin Lawyer, 2014

Co-Presenter, Ethical Rules and Best practices to Assist with Avoiding Collections in Family Law, Family Law Institute,sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2012


Co-Author, Ethical Rules and Best Practices to Assist with Avoiding Collections in Family Law CasesFamily Law Forum, 2011

Co-Presenter, Intersection of Family Law and Mental Health Services, In-Service Training for The Family Partnership, 2010 

Author, “The Role of Referees in District Court,” The Hennepin Lawyer, 2010


Co-Author, Minnesota’s New Child Support Law: The Basics, Hearsay, a publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association New Lawyers Section, 2007


Pro Bono & Community Service

Volunteer Lawyer - Volunteer Lawyers Network

Member - Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Roundtable


Court Admissions


  • Minnesota

  • Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers magazine, 2018 - 2021

  • Top 50 Minnesota Women list, Super Lawyer magazine, 2017 - 2021

  • Super Lawyer®, Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2021

  • Rising Star®, Super Lawyers magazine, 2012-2013

  • Recognized as a "North Star Attorney" by MSBA (in recognition for pro bono service), 2014, 2015 and 2017


2010 - present

2010 - present