Melanie Walker, associate in the Firm's Chattanooga office, is a member of the Immigration Group within the Labor and Employment Group. She assists clients throughout the world with their business-based temporary and permanent immigration status needs, and dedicates a large portion of her practice to the EB-5 immigrant investor category. Ms. Walker has a wide range of experience coordinating with other professionals in the disciplines of securities law, real estate and corporate finance, to develop immigration-compliant offering documents and has represented investors, developers and regional centers with their EB-5 filings. She has represented clients in successfully obtaining regional center and project approvals, and overcoming complex USCIS requests for evidence challenging both project-related and individual source of funds aspects of filings originated by others. She works closely with client representatives domestically and overseas to prepare clear and comprehensive funding documentation and has a wide foundation of diverse I-526 and I-829 filing experience.
In addition to her EB-5 practice, Ms. Walker provides immigration counseling services to companies, including business immigration through investment and trade (E-1/E-2), labor certifications, religious workers, international transferee programs (L-1), specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3), immigrant visas and consular representations. Her work with individual clients includes numerous filings for family-based immigration benefits, including experience obtaining permanent residency for qualified individuals under provisions of VAWA, and as victims of criminal activity through the U-visa classification.
As a member of the Advocacy Department, Ms. Walker represents clients in various types of litigation where she has aided in the defense of employment discrimination and ERISA claims, and assisted in responding to charges filed with the EEOC.
Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Ms. Walker was a law clerk to Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. During her clerkship, she provided extensive research and drafting support on decisions resolving various federal and state employment claims under FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, Title VII, Title VI and THRA. Ms. Walker worked as an immigration paralegal before attending law school and assisted a diverse group of clients with their employment and family immigration issues.
- Member – American Bar Association
- Member – Georgia Bar Association
- Member – American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Tennessee, 2011
- Georgia, 2009
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 2009, magna cum laude
- Roosevelt University, B.F.A. in Acting, 1994