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

Assisted private higher education institution with purchasing the assets of another private institution and addressed related accreditation issues and student financial aid compliance concerns
Analyzed complex endowment agreements and recommended approaches to maximize the flexibility of using these endowed funds which included possibly borrowing from and against the endowed assets
Advised nonprofit hospital on tax exempt status implications with respect to an acquisition of for-profit subsidiaries of a large for-profit health care system

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