Melissa A. Pestalozzi

Long Law Firm


BRBA: Tell us about your education.  

I graduated from Nicholls State University with a degree in Public Relations and graduated law school from Southern University Law Center.

BRBA: Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona.

BRBA: Where and what type of law do you practice? 

I practice at Long Law Firm, LLP in Baton Rouge.  My practice areas include professional liability defense, design and construction, commercial & corporate litigation, business structure & transactions, commercial lending & debt collection, estate planning & successions, and energy, telecommunications & utilities.

BRBA: Why did you want to become an attorney? 

I contemplated attending law school for the first time half way through the fall semester of my senior year of college.  The summer prior, I interned at a large entertainment, events and public relations firm back in Arizona and quickly realized that was not my future.  My mom and grandfather, both lawyers, gave me exposure to this profession my entire life but it was not until then that I realized how interested I had always been in their work.  My family and friends were so unbelievably supportive of my decision, and I knew this was what I wanted to do!

BRBA: If you were not practicing law, what would be your alternate profession?  

I would be a designer in some form – fashion design has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember but I also really enjoy graphic design!

BRBA: What is one thing you wish you would have known before you went to law school? 

I wish I would have known you do not need to memorize the Civil Code word-for-word…even if that is what your first-year professors tell you!

BRBA: Are you involved with the BRBA? If so, how?

Yes!  I am currently a member of the Young Lawyers Section, Belly Up with the Bar Fundraising Committee, Easter Egg Hunt Planning Committee, Holiday Star Planning Committee, Athletic Events Planning Committee, and Bench Bar Planning Committee.  I have also volunteered for the local Wills for Heroes Event since I was admitted to practice.

BRBA: What motivated you to become involved with the BRBA? 

My firm strongly encourages our involvement in the BRBA, and I have learned both from my colleagues and my own experiences how important it is to remain active in our local bar association.  The BRBA has provided me with so many incredible benefits I would not otherwise have exposure to.  Aside from being a wonderful networking and informational tool, the BRBA provides its members with countless opportunities to give back to the community through various volunteer programs such as the Holiday Star Projects and the Wills for Heroes Events.  

BRBA: What is your favorite BRBA activity or event? 

If I had to choose my favorite BRBA event, it would be the Holiday Star Projects for so many reasons.  On the social side of the BRBA events, of course, Belly Up with the Bar would have to be my favorite – it is always such a successful and rewarding event for everyone involved!

BRBA: Are you involved with any other organizations or causes?  

Yes!  I am also actively involved in the LSBA and the Louisiana Bar Foundation.  I am a member of the 2019-2020 Leadership LSBA Class as well as the LSBA/Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Community Action and Outreach Committees.  One organization I have become very passionate about is Club Blue, the young professional affinity group of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge.  In addition to proudly serving as an ambassador of the organization, I also currently serve as the Volunteer Co-Chair for Club Blue as well as Co-Chair of the Volunteer Committee.  I am also a member of the Young Lawyers’ Committee for the Energy Bar Association–Louisiana Chapter, Wex Malone American Inns of Court, LSBA Public Utility Section, and Women’s Energy Network–Southeast Louisiana Chapter.

BRBA: What is the best piece of advice you have received? 

The best and most practicable advice I have received to date is to listen and observe carefully and diligently in all aspects of my practice.

BRBA: What are your leisure activities? 

I love to travel, attend sporting events, shop, and explore new restaurants and microbreweries!

BRBA: What is the last book that you read? 

The last book I read (for leisure) was the Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks, which is also my favorite movie!

BRBA: Tell us something interesting about yourself. 

I grew up in Tempe, Arizona and came to Louisiana on a college soccer scholarship with my childhood best friend.  We wanted something completely different for our college experience and decided to take a chance.  I immediately fell in love with the people and the culture here and knew I never wanted to leave! 

If you would like to contact Melissa, her email address is
For more information or to comment on this this Member Spotlight feature, contact Landon Hester at or 225-214-5560.