Melanie Donahue was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. She graduated from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in 1996, and she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2001. She later attended Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan on an academic scholarship. While there, Melanie was involved with the Student Government Association, International Law Society, Federalist Society, Mock Trial, and Moot Court. She also volunteered with the Common Ground Sanctuary legal clinic and the Michigan Attorney General's Child Abuse and Neglect Division in Detroit. Melanie graduated with a Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2009, and she was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar that same year.
Melanie began her legal career working in government, where she focused on coroner, mental health, governmental ethics, public records, procurement, labor and employment, and construction laws. She opened her law practice in 2013.
Melanie volunteered for a number of years with Teen Life Counts teaching suicide awareness and prevention to high school students. She has given presentations on Louisiana's mental health laws, ethics in forensic science, and governmental ethics. She has also participated in Assisted Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Stewards of Children, Public Information Officer training, Court Appointed Special Advocate training, and Family and Divorce Mediation training.
Melanie is a member of the 22nd Judicial District Bar Association, Leadership St. Tammany Class of 2013, and the Leadership LSBA Class of 2014/2015. She serves on the Louisiana State Bar Association's Practice Assistance and Improvement Committee, as well as the Committee on the Profession. Melanie also serves on the Board of Directors for Youth Service Bureau and National Alliance for Mental Illness - St. Tammany.