Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon


Melissa Bennett


p: 518.429.4219

f: 518.533.2923

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Albany Office

80 State Street
Albany, New York 12207

Melissa serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, and counsel to credit-enhancement providers and direct purchasers on a variety of general obligation and revenue bond transactions, including financings for school districts, municipalities, higher education institutions, health care providers, and affordable housing projects. She has extensive experience handling public offerings, private placements, and direct purchases.

Melissa also serves as agency counsel to several industrial development agencies and local development corporations in connection with straight-lease transactions and tax-exempt and taxable revenue bond issuances and provides day-to-day advice to IDA and LDC clients on compliance and governance. She additionally represents institutional lenders in secured commercial financing transactions, including conventional real estate mortgages, secured lines of credit, and construction loans.

In addition to her own practice, Melissa serves on the firm’s Next Generation Committee.

Representative Experience

  • Served as bond counsel for the NYS Housing Finance Agency’s $187.8 million 2018 Series I affordable-housing revenue bonds and its $52.5 million 2018 Series J affordable-housing revenue bonds.
  • Served as underwriters’ counsel for the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation’s $258.34 million State Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Funds revenue bonds (New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority Projects: second-resolution bonds) and Series 2018 B subordinated SRF bonds.
  • Served as underwriters’ counsel for Golden State Tobacco Securitization Corporation’s $1,674,650,000 Series 2018A-1 tobacco settlement asset-backed bonds.
  • Served as bond counsel for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York’s $14.25 million Series 2018A Interagency Council Pooled Loan Program revenue bonds.
  • Served as underwriters’ counsel for County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency’s $197.3 million Series 2018 school facility revenue bonds for the Rochester Schools Modernization Project.
  • Served as bond counsel for the Town of Colonie Local Development Corporation’s $12.5 million Series 2018 tax-exempt revenue bond for the Shaker Pointe at Carondelet, Inc. Project.
  • Served as transaction counsel to Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency in a straight-lease transaction for a $40 million senior-living facility involving multiple corporate layers and requiring complex document structuring and significant mortgage negotiations.
  • Served as bond counsel for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York’s $302.5 million Series 2017A-E School Districts Revenue Bond Financing Program revenue bonds.

Practice Areas


  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, ABA Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, Student Editor, Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 2011
  • State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2005

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 2012
  • Massachusetts, 2011

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Barclay Damon’s Women’s Forum
  • National Association of Bond Lawyers
  • New York State Economic Development Council
  • New York State Association of School Business Officials
  • New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association

Prior Experience

  • Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc., Legal Intern
  • University at Buffalo School of Law Affordable Housing Clinic, Student Attorney
  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Legal Assistant