Melissa J. Hamilton, ACP, is employed as a paralegal in the General Counsel Division of the North Dakota Office of Attorney General. She has a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). She earned her CP credential in 2007 and earned ACP credentials in Contracts Administration/Contracts Management in 2009; Family Law - Child Custody, Support, and Visitation in 2014; Real Estate Principles in 2020; and E-Discovery in 2022. She has over 29 years of legal experience working for the State of North Dakota, including as a legal assistant with the ND Department of Health and Human Services Legal Advisory Unit, and as a paralegal with the ND Department of Transportation, ND Department of Health and Human Services Child Support Division, ND Supreme Court Law Library - ND Legal Self Help Center and Civil Litigation Division of the North Dakota Office of Attorney General.
Melissa is active in national and local paralegal associations. She is Immediate Past President of NALA-The Paralegal Association and currently serves as Region III Director for the Western Dakota Association of Legal Assistants.
She resides in Bismarck, North Dakota with her husband Todd and their daughters MacKenzie and Katelynne.
I am honored to serve as NALA-The Paralegal Association’s representative on the Approval Commission. Education and training of paralegals is essential in today’s ever growing and changing legal environment. After high school, I knew I needed some type of additional training to become a paralegal and I was looking for a comprehensive paralegal education program. The closest was at Minnesota State University, Moorhead (MSUM). Although not ABA approved when I enrolled, MSUM later obtained ABA approval, becoming one of only five ABA approved programs in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Unfortunately, MSUM eliminated the program in April 2020 to deal with budget shortfalls. This cannot continue. The need for ABA approved paralegal programs that teach the critical skills needed for paralegals to be successful and contributing members of any legal team is vital. I look forward to serving on the Approval Commission and assisting with approval and reapproval of paralegal programs.