Contact the Family Law Team
P: (919) 821-4711


Physical Address:
Wells Fargo Building
150 Fayetteville Street
Suite 1800
Raleigh, NC 27601


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1151
Raleigh, NC 27602

(Wake County)
(919) 821-4711
Fax: (919) 829-1583

Tharrington Smith's Family Law Team

Melanie Pfeifer


Melanie Pfeifer, Raleigh Family Law Attorney

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Jill Gagnon

Melanie Pfeifer joined Tharrington Smith’s family law team as an associate in early 2018. She is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill, where she served as a staff member for the North Carolina Law Review and served as a Certified Student Practitioner at the Immigration Clinic. She holds a Masters of International Studies with a concentration in public administration from North Carolina State University, and a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies and German Studies from UNC Chapel Hill with honors.

Prior to law practice, Melanie served in a multiplicity of director level positions with Management Services On-Call, a Chapel Hill company that provides services to private healthcare practitioners. Melanie consulted with all levels of staff to assist medical practices, increase revenue, gain efficiencies, and improve patient experience. Her love of working directly with people and problem-solving complex issues to achieve best outcomes led Melanie to pursue a new career in law. As a family law attorney, she enjoys working one-on-one with clients and facing difficult issues head-on to lead her clients through the complexities of the domestic legal landscape.

Melanie is a member of the North Carolina Bar, the 10th Judicial District Bar, the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association Family Law Section. Outside of work, Melanie and her son explore the outdoors and the imaginary worlds of Minecraft and Harry Potter. Together they also care for Lil the dog, Anubis the cat, and Bob the fish.


University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Juris Doctor, May 2016; GPA: 3.697 (Top 10% = 3.787)
  • Immigration Clinic, Certified Student Practitioner (2015-2016)
  • North Carolina Law Review, Staff Member (2014-2015)
  • Earned top grades in Torts and in Health Law Organizations courses
  • Child Action, President & Treasurer (2014-2015), Mock Trial Organizer (2014), Participant (2013)

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

  • Master of International Studies (Concentration in Public Administration), December 2005

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and German Studies, with honors, May 2003

Memberships & Admissions

  • North Carolina Bar, 2016
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
  • 10th Judicial District Bar, Member
  • Wake County Bar Association, Member

Work History

  • Tharrington Smith, 2018-present
  • Melanie Pfeifer Law, 2016-2018
  • Graber Law Firm & Palme’ Law Firm; cross-firm associate, 2017
  • Management Services On-Call, Inc., Chapel Hill, 2002-2018
    • In-House Counsel, Client Services, 2016-2018
    • Director of Client Relations, 2008-2013
    • Director of Operations, 2004-2008
    • Accounts Specialist 2002-2004
  • Internships/Externships:
    • Council for Children’s Rights, Summer Intern 2015
    • Professor Thomas Kelley, University of North Carolina School of Law, Winter Research Assistant 2014-2015
    • NicholsonPham, PLLC, Summer Intern 2014
    • Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Summer Extern 2014

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We deal with people,
not cases.