MELBA PEARSON, ESQ.
Board of Directors
A New York native, Melba Pearson has called Miami home for over 20 years. After receiving her undergraduate degree at New York University, she completed her studies at Hofstra University (now Maurice Dean) School of Law.
Ms. Pearson currently serves as the Policy Director for the Center for the Administration of Justice at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University (FIU).
Ms. Pearson is an attorney specializing in civil rights and criminal law, with an emphasis on policy reform. Before launching her firm MVP Law, LLC, she served as the Deputy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida for three years. Ms. Pearson was part of the leadership team who helped pass Amendment 4 in 2018 – the historic voting rights amendment which re-enfranchised people with felony convictions in Florida. Additionally, she worked heavily on criminal justice reform legislation, policing, and expanding voting rights. Before joining the ACLU, Ms. Pearson was an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County for 16 years. After prosecuting a variety of crimes, she was selected to join the Domestic Crimes Unit, focusing on serious domestic violence crimes as well as homicides for close to four years. In her next assignment, Ms. Pearson was integral to the re-launch of the Community Prosecution Unit, whose goal is partnering with the community to find creative solutions to prevent crime and provide outreach. She ended her prosecutorial career as the Assistant Chief in the Career Criminal/Robbery Unit, supervising junior attorneys while prosecuting homicides. Ms. Pearson was the progressive candidate for Miami-Dade State Attorney in 2020, garnering close to 154,000 votes as a first-time candidate from across party lines.
Ms. Pearson is a frequent guest lecturer on a wide array of law enforcement concerns. She lectured nationwide to prosecutors on behalf of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA). She serves as adjunct faculty for the University of Phoenix and Bryant and Stratton College, teaching law to undergraduate as well as master’s students. A prolific writer and blogger, she has published numerous popular and scholarly articles on topics including police encounters, domestic violence, crimes against women, criminal trial procedure, along with everyday legal issues. Publications that have profiled, featured or quoted her include The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, Essence Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Miami Herald, and Ebony Magazine. She has also been a guest on national media regarding legal trends. Ms. Pearson is a highly sought-after public speaker known for her lively and engaging speaking style at corporate, industry and academic events. She has spoken on and moderated panels for the American Bar Association, the National Black Prosecutors Association, the (Miami) Dade County Bar Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. Lastly, she is the author of a blog on the topics of real life and the law at The Resident Legal Diva.
Ms. Pearson has been extensively involved in various community groups, and has taken every opportunity to spread the messages of the dangers of domestic violence, as well as the importance of self-empowerment. She has taken on a leadership/mentoring role in several charity organizations. Ms. Pearson is Past President of the National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA), and President of the NBPA Foundation; Co-Chair of the Prosecution Function Committee of the American Bar Association; as well as Immediate Past President of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association in South Florida.
Metropolitan Studies, Politics