Melissa Ashburn joined the University of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Service in 2001, when she was hired as a Municipal Legal Consultant. Prior to joining MTAS, she practiced law for seven years at the Knoxville law firm Leibowitz & Cohen. Her private practice focused on civil litigation in areas including employment law, contract disputes, and zoning and land use matters. She obtained her bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of Tennessee and worked as a probation officer for the Tennessee Department of Corrections before attending the University of Tennessee College of Law. She graduated from law school and became licensed to practice law in 1994. Melissa provides legal opinions, risk management and daily guidance for the 345 cities served by the agency. She works with city officials, city attorneys, city judges, department heads, and various state agencies’ general counsel. Her work at MTAS includes delivering presentations on timely topics impacting municipal governments.