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jo custer melnyk, esq.

828.348.6155 /

Jo Custer Melnyk founded Custer Melnyk LLP in 2013 and exclusively represents clients who are creating or growing families through the use of assisted reproductive technology or through adoption.  She devotes her practice to building families.


Jo’s initial legal career was in corporate defense litigation in Oakland, California.  While she gained incredible litigation experience, the nature of the practice left her unfulfilled on a personal level.  When her husband Rich took a new job and they moved back east, she used the opportunity to refocus her energy on a practice that would allow her to feel more connected to her clients and to make a more tangible difference in her client’s lives.  After serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for child abuse and neglect cases in Arlington County, Virginia, she decided to set out to build her own practice with a focus on building families, and she hasn’t looked back since.  She ultimately founded Custer Melnyk LLP in 2013 when, pregnant with their first child, she and Rich were in the process of moving to Asheville to be closer to their extended family and to fulfill a lifelong dream of living in the mountains.  Now, more than six years and two more children later, she enjoys her legal practice more than ever.  She loves practicing at the intersection of law, families, and established and emerging medicine & technology.  Additionally, as fate would have it, Jo experienced her own secondary fertility struggles after having had their second child, which has given her a unique and personal understanding of her clients’ needs and perspectives.  She can relate to and empathize with her clients’ experiences in a way that many cannot, and she does everything she can to make the necessary legal processes as seamless and painless as possible.  She is able to bring a uniquely human element to her family building legal practice. 


After living in Ohio, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, Jo has settled into the beautiful mountains of Asheville with Rich (now her partner in Custer Melnyk LLP), their two young sons and newborn daughter.  She loves spending time outdoors with her family and taking advantage of everything the beautiful mountains have to offer, including hiking, biking, climbing, and rafting.  A former Division I college athlete in cross country and track & field, her love for running has also continued, and she can be found out pounding the pavement or track most mornings before the sun comes up.  She is proud to call Asheville home and its residents her neighbors and friends!

Admissions:  North Carolina


                       District of Columbia

Education:     J.D., University of California,

                       Hastings College of the Law (2007)

                     B.S., Miami University of Ohio (2004)


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