Melissa “Mel” Coombes


  • Juris Doctor, Gonzaga University School of Law, summa cum laude
  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, United States Naval Academy


  • Admitted to practice law in the state of Washington
  • Registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office
  • Member, WSBA Intellectual Property Section
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association

Melissa advises and assists clients on a wide variety of intellectual property issues including the drafting and prosecution of patent applications. Melissa’s breadth of technical experience spans from aircraft technologies to computer related technologies and mechanical inventions. This expertise is supported by Melissa’s hands-on technical experience gained as a Naval Officer and Aviator. Melissa currently serves as a Detachment Commanding Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves. Prior to joining Lee & Hayes, Melissa served as a flight and academic instructor for the U.S. Navy and was responsible for managing training and professional development of hundreds of students. During her career Melissa flew rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and received Navy Commendation and Humanitarian Assistance Medals for tsunami relief missions in Sumatra. Melissa was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for actions that resulted in saving an aircraft. While attending law school Melissa clerked for the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington and interned with the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office. Furthermore, Melissa received the CALI award for the top grade in seven of her law school classes. Melissa also has experience with legal research and writing regarding international law and served as the managing editor of the Gonzaga Journal of International Law. While attending the United States Naval Academy Melissa played NCAA Division 1 volleyball. Melissa enjoys cycling, running, kayaking, and climbing. She has been participating in multi-sport adventure racing since 2001 and won the 2009 U.S. National Championship. Additionally, prior to starting law school, Melissa raced road bikes, and won both the Alabama state road and criterium championship, and the Washington state criterium championship in her category in 2010.