I am an associate lawyer at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers. My approach to law is to see clients as people first and gain context from them in order to tailor my approach to analyzing and resolving their legal issues.
I understand that each person and each family will have their own unique circumstances and I adopt the best approach for each client, whether that requires collaborative negotiation or litigation in court. I have experience in the areas of decision making for children, parenting time, child support, spousal support, enforcement of arrears with the Family Responsibility Office, divorce, equalization of assets and child protection. I have both trial and appeal experience on complex legal issues, having appeared before both the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice. I was also appointed to the Office of the Children’s Lawyer panel to represent children in court.
I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto majoring in Criminology and Classics, with a minor in World Literature. During my undergraduate degree, I held summer positions as a Business Law Policy Analyst for the Government of Ontario and with the Crown Attorney’s Office under the Ministry of the Attorney General.
I was called to the Ontario Bar in 2013, after obtaining my law degree from University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. During law school, I exhausted all courses in family law including Advanced Family Law, Collaborative Family Law and Children and the Law. I customized academic learning opportunities outside the regular curriculum and completed two professor directed research papers: judicial discretion in the family law courts and an international adoption case study. I also completed a major research paper on legal remedies for breaches in domestic contracts.
Prior to joining Russell Alexander, I was legal counsel for Children’s Aid Society in the regions of Peel and Toronto. My experience in child protection and representing an institutional litigant gave me insights on the impact of conflict on children and disruption within the family unit. I was litigating in court on a frequent basis, routinely managing crisis and time-sensitive legal matters. Prior to being Society counsel, I was a Staff Family and Child Protection Lawyer for Legal Aid Ontario and this gave me exposure to a very diverse clientele with complex circumstances.
During my undergraduate degree, I studied for a summer abroad in Siena, Italy with a focus on Renaissance History. During law school, I interned with UNICEF Canada creating research reports where I analyzed policy and legislation that impacted the rights of children. UNICEF’s European National Office expressed interest in my extensive research model and I was invited to present my research findings in Brussels, Belgium. In the summer after first year of law school, I lived in Wellington, New Zealand interning at a legal clinic and a subsequent placement advocating for the rights of Maori children and youth. After my second year of law school, I lived in Freiburg, Germany interning with ECPAT – a non-profit organization seeking to prevent and end child prostitution and child trafficking in underdeveloped countries with weak legal frameworks to protect vulnerable children.
When I’m not practicing law, I’m volunteering with children, checking out the film scene, skiing, playing tennis, or experimenting with ingredients in a kitchen. If I did not go to law school, I would have gone to culinary school as I am passionate about food equally as much as the law.
“The lawyer we spoke to, Alex De Melo, was very professional but also very personable. He was extremely helpful and informative. He made sure that we understood the information that he was imparting and had a reassuring way of answering all of the questions we had. I would highly recommend Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers.”