Melissa S. Watkins
(304) 598-8160
Office: Morgantown
J.D. West Virginia University
M.P.A. West Virginia University
B.S. Fairmont State University
Licensure: OH | PA | WV
See Education


Melissa Watkins concentrates her practice in the areas of taxation, business and commercial planning, nonprofit tax issues, and other areas related to the establishment, governance, and operation of nonprofit organizations. Prior to practicing law, she spent nine years in higher education finance and accounting. She is also a licensed certified public accountant.

Work Experience

2000 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
1998-2000 Assistant Controller, West Virginia University
1996-1998 Manager of Budget and Accounting, West Virginia Network (WVNET)
1993-1996 Senior Accountant, West Virginia University

Speaking Engagements

Financial Assistance Disclosures for Hospitals, 2016

"Lessons from the (Sweet) Briar Patch," Higher Education: Current Issues & Trends, 2016

"Don't Get Stuck Paying Taxes on Payment to Foreign Persons," 2014

"Highlights & Lowlights of the IRS's Findings in the Areas of Unrelated Business Income & Executive Compensation," 2013

"Non-profit and Governmental Organization's Under Fire," 2013

"Form 1099-MISC Reporting Tips," 2013

"Royalties, Gifts & Marcellus Shale: How to Handle a New Generation and Type of Charitable Giving" West Virginia Grantmakers 2011

"New Form 990," Division of Social Work at West Virginia University Workshop, 2008, 2009

"Form 990," Wheeling Chapter of CPAs, 2008

"Governance of Non-profit Organizations," Division of Social Work at West Virginia University Workshop, 2007

"Principles of Accounting/Financing Statements 101 for Nonprofits and Audits," Division of Social Work at West Virginia University, 2006-2008

"Taxation of Settlements and Judgments," West Virginia Bar Association, 2006

"Today's Issues Concerning Nonprofits," West Virginia Public Accountants Association, 2005

Key Experience

Advises tax exempt organizations on the tax implications of their day-to-day activities and provides guidance on charitable fundraising, structuring charitable gifts, endowment administration, and corporate governance. She also counsels tax-exempt organizations on compliance and regulatory matters.
Represented a major tax-exempt client in a complex investigation by the FBI
Conducts business planning for a wide variety of tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations, including complex structures such as mergers and joint ventures between for-profit and nonprofit organizations

Memberships & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America®
Best Lawyers® Morgantown, West Virginia Lawyer of the Year 2013
Former Adjunct Lecturer, College of Business & Economics, West Virginia University
Young Lawyer of the Year, West Virginia State Bar 2009
West Virginia Society of CPAs