Melanie Newkome Jones
Attorney at Law
BRBA: Tell us about your education.
I graduated from Baton Rouge Magnet High, LSU and LSU Law School.
BRBA: Where are you from?
Originally from Elyria, Ohio, but moved to Baton Rouge when I was five.
BRBA: Where and what type of law do you practice?
I practice primarily family law as a sole practitioner. My office is in Beauregard Town in downtown Baton Rouge. I also handle wills and successions and some personal injury.
BRBA: Why did you want to become an attorney?
I like writing, arguing and helping people.
BRBA: If you were not practicing law, what would be your alternate profession?
My undergraduate major was broadcast journalism and I wanted to be an anchorperson, but I think now I would like to be a farmer and a chef. I love the outdoors and cooking for people. I would also like to be a travel blogger! Getting paid to travel would be the best!
BRBA: What is one thing you wish you would have known before you went to law school?
I don’t think that anyone realizes how stressful the profession is. Each practice area has their stressors: family practitioners have a lot of pressure due to the emotional aspects of the cases and probably most attorneys have stress over billing and collections.
BRBA: Are you involved with the BRBA? If so, how?
I was the chair of the Family Law Section and remain an active member. I participate in the Holiday Star Project each year and regularly perform pro bono services through the Pro Bono Project. I am currently a Board member on the BRBA and will be Secretary on the Board next year!
BRBA: What motivated you to become involved with the BRBA?
I began with joining the Family Law Section and loved the comradery I enjoyed in that group. As the Chair of that section, I began attending the BRBA Board of Directors meeting as a non-voting member. I recognized that the Board functions best when there are representatives of diverse backgrounds, not just the large firms. As a family law and solo practitioner, I can offer a different perspective that makes the organization more balanced in the services and support that are offered to our members.
BRBA: What is your favorite BRBA activity or event?
I love Belly Up to the Bar and was so excited to participate this year! I have enjoyed the Bench Bar Conference and look forward to attending at the new locale this Spring. I always enjoy the Family Law Section meetings for the friendship and the many useful CLEs that are presented.
BRBA: Are you involved with any other organizations or causes?
I am on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Animals, a non-profit group that facilitates dog adoption in the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.
BRBA: What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t forget that the world is round. And to trust your instincts.
BRBA: What are your leisure activities?
I love cooking, gardening and spending time with my family and friends. I also really love to travel!
BRBA: What is the last book that you read?
Flower Hunters, a book on the discovery, collection and propagation of plants by botanists in the past, and Just Get Up with Isaac, a motivational book by a personal trainer/friend of mine.
BRBA: Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I am very proud of my four daughters, ages 22, 24, 26 and 30. The oldest lives in Seattle, is a nurse and just got married. The second lives in Portland, Oregon and plans to be a nurse midwife. The third is applying for graduate school in Anthropology and Archeology. And my baby is a stewardess on a private yacht stationed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that is going to the Mediterranean in April. I have two dogs, two cats and a chicken. I am an only child with a very close, large Irish extended family, two wonderful parents and my four children, and I am blessed to have so many good friends. Life is truly good.