A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Melvin Priester Jr., is the son of attorney Charlene Stimley Priester and Judge Melvin Priester, Sr. He is the nephew of the late attorneys Frank Stimley and Sherman Stimley and the grandson of the late Bernice Allen Stimley who was known for owning and operating several businesses in the Georgetown neighborhood of Jackson. Melvin was the valedictorian of Murrah High School's class of 1997. He then obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard College magna cum laude in 2001. While at Harvard, Melvin wrote his honor's thesis on how religious groups and progressive political organizers can unite to improve society.
In 2004, Melvin obtained his law degree from Stanford Law School. While at Stanford, Melvin was a member of the board of the Stanford Technology Law Review and actively participated in the school’s Civil Rights Clinic led by Michelle Alexander and its Cyber Law Legal Clinic led by Jennifer Granick. After graduating from law school in 2004 and until he joined Jackson's Priester Law Firm in 2008, Melvin was an associate in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, where he specialized in financial services litigation.
Melvin is fluent in Portuguese and has done pro bono and volunteer work for clients including the Innocence Project of Northern California, the North Midtown Art Center, and numerous indigent clients. At Priester Law Firm, a family business located in Ward 2, Melvin represents a diverse set of clients.
Since his youth, Melvin has been passionate about volunteering and helping others. For several years, Melvin worked at after school and summer programs for children at Stewpot Community Services. He has taught speech and debate classes at public schools across the nation. He worked closely with the late Dr. Aaron Shirley at the Jackson Medical Mall to help seniors with diabetes. Between 2011 and 2013, Melvin Priester Jr., served as a regional producer for the Figment Arts Festival (www.figmentproject.org), a nationwide arts festival with significant events in New York City, Boston, Detroit, Jackson, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburg. Melvin Priester Jr., is licensed to practice law in Mississippi and California and is a member of the Charles Clark Inns of Court, the American Bar Association, the Magnolia Bar Association, and the Capital Area Bar Association. He is a proud member of New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson and resides with his wife Holly in the Woodhaven neighborhood of Jackson’s Ward 2.