Melinda A. Agsten

Melinda A. Agsten

Wiggin and Dana LLP

Recognized since 1991

New Haven, Connecticut

Practice Areas

Health Care Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Health Care Law
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Melinda has spent four decades helping health care, educational, charitable, and other tax-exempt organizations address legal challenges so they can focus on achieving their missions.

As Chair of Wiggin and Dana's Tax Exempt Organizations Practice Group and immediate past Chair of the firm's Health Care Department, Melinda advises clients on a range of corporate, governance, federal and state tax-exemption, and regulatory matters.

Charitable and tax-exempt organizations, ranging from grassroots local charities to those with billion-dollar budgets, seek Melinda's counsel about the investment and use of endowment and other charitable funds, charitable solicitation, obtaining judicial modification of unworkable or obsolete restrictions, and reviews and investigations by state regulatory entities such as the Attorney General.

Melinda also advises health care organizations, including hospitals, integrated systems, clinics, home health care agencies, and other providers, on their corporate, patient, regulatory, and operating matters. She has extensive experience with charity care issues and policies, bed funds, and related payment and billing issues.

Melinda assists with the creation of new tax-exempt organizations and helps clients determine the best organizational and governance structure to achieve their goals. She is viewed as particularly adept at helping boards of directors of nonprofit organizations with governance matters and revising their structures and bylaws to better address contemporary needs. She also advises complex systems about corporate structure and design.

Melinda is a frequent lecturer on health care, exemption issues, and governance. She was a clinical visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School from 2012 to 2016 and taught in its Nonprofit Organizations Clinic. She has been named by The Best Lawyers in America in the category Best Health Care Lawyers every year from the category's inception.

Melinda is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Life Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, past President of the Connecticut Health Lawyers Association, and a member of the American and Connecticut Bar Associations, the ABA's Committee on Exempt Organizations of the Section of Taxation, and the American Health Lawyers Association.

Melinda is deeply committed to pro bono service. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame and is the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of The Foote School, an independent school in New Haven. She was a member of the State Tax Panel appointed by the Connecticut Legislature in 2014 to make policy recommendations about Connecticut taxes. She is a past Director of the Connecticut Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and served on the Board of Finance of the City of New Haven and on its Financial Review and Audit Commission.

Melinda received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University, where she was an associate editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. She graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude from Duke University.

Contact & Links


  • One Century Tower
    265 Church Street 17th Floor
    New Haven, CT 06510


  • Duke University, A.B. magna cum laude
  • Vanderbilt University , J.D.

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, Connecticut


  • American Bar Association - Exempt Organizations Committee
  • American Bar Association - Taxation and Health Law Sections
  • American Bar Foundation - Fellow
  • American Health Lawyers Association - Member
  • Connecticut Bar Association - Member
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation - Member
  • Connecticut Health Lawyers Association - Member

Wiggin and Dana LLP
Headquarters: New Haven, Connecticut

24 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

11 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge
Full Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2012 - Health Care Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Health Care Law, New Haven (2012)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Health Care Law

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