University of Michigan
J.D., magna cum laude | 1982
Order of the Coif

Ohio University
B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa | 1979


  • Maine | 1982

ABOUT Melissa

Melissa Murphy is of counsel to Perkins Thompson.  A past Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. Melissa began her practice by concentrating on all matters pertaining to real estate acquisition, ownership, development and financing, with a special emphasis on legal issues pertaining to condominium, timeshare and mixed-use projects and affordable and other specialized housing, including housing for older adults and those needing supportive services. As the clients she works with have grown and expanded their core businesses, Melissa’s practice has grown with them and now includes advising both for-profit and non-profit real estate owners and developers as to their governance and with regard to their operations extending beyond their real estate holdings.

Whether her client is a for-profit developer or lender, a non-profit organization or a governmental or quasi-governmental lender, Melissa keeps their goals, mission and values at the forefront.  She works hard at fostering relationships with her clients’ leadership, staff and business and community partners in an effort to better understand their business, operations and services so that she is able to serve them in the manner best suited to their needs, making life-long friends along the way.

Melissa has been an active member of the Portland area community throughout her career, most recently working as a volunteer with the Portland Area League of Women Voters in registering voters at Naturalization Ceremonies and community events and in local high schools.

Outside of the office, Melissa enjoys reading popular, and occasionally classic, fiction; learning to distinguish the flowers from the weeds in her gardens, cheering on the Portland Sea Dogs, discussing politics, civilly when possible; and traveling to diverse regions around the world.


Publications / Seminars

Melissa has presented numerous seminars on condominium, affordable housing and general real estate matters, including the Maine State Bar Association’s Seminar on Maine Condominium Law: Déjá Vu All Over Again (2005).

Most recently, Melissa served on the Shared Housing Planning Team for the Maine Council on Aging’s Conference on Housing Solutions for Maine’s New Age, discussing the legal challenges presented in developing shared housing models as a novel approach to meet older Mainers’ diverse housing needs.


  • Fellow, Maine Bar Foundation
  • Member, American, Maine and Cumberland County Bar Associations

Service / Achievements

Melissa is a Fellow of the Maine Bar Foundation, the past Chair of the Scarborough Housing Alliance, a past member of the Town of Scarborough Open Space Committee, and a past Trustee and Secretary of the League of Women Voters Education Fund. She also was the incorporator and a founding Board member of the Scarborough Education Foundation.  Melissa volunteers with the Portland Area League of Women Voters in registering voters at Naturalization Ceremonies and other community events and in local high schools.

Melissa is AV Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2015 in the field of Real Estate Law for Maine.