Melissa Rutkoske

Of Counsel

Born: Ridgewood, New Jersey

United States Military Academy, West Point, New York Engineering Management, 1988
Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. cum laude, 2006

Admitted to Practice:
New York State 2007

Current Affiliations:
New York State Bar Association
Dutchess County Bar Association

Community Activities:
Instructor, United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps
Board Member, Christ Church, United Methodist, Beacon
Board Member, Big Blue Swimming, Ltd.

Melissa is a West Point graduate and entered the field of law as a second career, after being an Army Officer and an engineer at Consolidated Edison Company of New York. Melissa came to Lazar & Schwartz to practice Family Law after employment at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley where she represented victims of domestic violence in family matters.

The decision to enter into the arena of Family Law was one that came naturally to Melissa. Having worked in supervisory capacities with soldiers and mechanics, it became obvious to her that the ability to separate work and family was only possible when there was no crisis in the family. When a crisis occurred, such as a loss of a loved one or a separation or divorce, the worker’s ability to function was compromised. Melissa recognizes that in order to get the client through this process with the least impact on the family and work, the attorney must address all of the needs of the client, providing resources and possible solutions, while keeping in mind the cost of the process, both financial and emotional. Melissa came to this firm, finding a workplace that shares this same philosophy.

Melissa specializes in child custody cases as she has children of her own and understands how children are impacted by this situation.

Melissa lives in Beacon, New York with her husband and four children and spends time off with them enjoying the outdoors.