Lisa G. Mellem

Lisa G. Mellem
Concord Office
Undergrad: Pacific University - BS Biology
UCLA Graduate Program in Paralegal Studies
Western State University, College of Law
California State Bar
Joined BM&M in 2021

Lisa Mellem was a professional horse trainer when she was 12 years old. It was her career choice at the time.

"I loved learning to work with the horses, and learning how to interact with people, and they paid me $50 bucks a week," recalls Mellem. "At the time I thought 'this is what I want to do.' But, by the time I graduated from high school, I realized, with the help of my parents, that I would need a more lucrative career."

Growing up in Torrance, California, Lisa spent afternoons at the nearby Rolling Hills estates, training two-year old horses and teaching people to ride. She spent nights studying.

"My mother and grandfather were both optometrists and my uncle an ophthalmologist. I was never really pressured to follow in their footsteps, but it was certainly hoped for."

After graduating from high school, Lisa vacillated between pursuing a career in architecture or continuing pre-med studies. She was granted early admission into the optometry program at Pacific University, in Forest Grove, Oregon.

"Toward the end of my second year, there was a traumatic event that brought me into close proximity with the legal field and struck a chord in me. I began to think about switching my career path to law."

Lisa graduated from Pacific University following her second year of the optometry program with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology before moving back to Southern California and enrolling in UCLA's Graduate Program in Paralegal Studies, where she earned ABA certification as a paralegal.

"I found that I really liked the law and knew I had made the right career choice."

Lisa was accepted to Western State University, College of Law and went on to pass the California Bar before becoming a working attorney in Orange County, California.

"I started working with some local attorneys doing contract work and ended up with a job in the Workers' Comp defense field. I immediately felt like I had found my niche."

She eventually joined a leading Workers' Comp defense firm and went on to serve for several years as a successful Workers' Comp attorney.

"In 2018 my musician husband was offered an opportunity in Northern California. We talked about it and were both ready for a change. I immediately found a position in Workers' Comp but I had a medical setback that took me out of the workplace for a time and required surgery."

Between scheduling surgery and recovery options, the world pandemic hit, and Lisa's return to Worker's Comp law was delayed.

"I was scheduled for surgery in April of 2020 just in time for it to be delayed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 restrictions on non-emergency surgeries. Finally, in early December 2020, I had the surgery, it was all quite an experience," she says with a laugh. "Everything went well, and it wasn't too long before I was ready to get back to work."

Lisa joined the Concord Office of Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight in January of 2021. "I did all the interviews online and it went amazingly well. I knew Ed Benthale's reputation in the Workers' Comp field and knew he had created an excellent organization. Of course, the world has changed dramatically with the Covid restrictions, and we all have to adapt. The fact that Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight is on-top of the learning curve in digital communications is a big plus for me. They're a sharp group of people."

Away from the office, Lisa enjoys hiking trails, biking, photography and, of course, riding.

"I was adept at both english and western style riding when I was young, and I'd like to get back into it once we get back into a more normal living environment."