Melanie Shapiro has always been involved in human rights work, particularly sex trafficking and LGBTQ issues. She attended Roger Williams University School of Law where she was a Public Interest Scholar. The summer after her first year of law school, she did an internship in Washington, D.C. with Michael Horowitz, a leader on human rights legislation and issues. That fall, Melanie took a course in immigration law and the following semester began working in an immigration clinic at her law school. Being able to connect with real people and help them was amazing. The first time she had a real hearing she represented a skinny, quiet 16-year-old boy whose father seriously abused him, his mother, and even their animals. Over about 10 months, she was able to gain his trust, and he opened up to her.
While she was working in the immigration clinic, she started figuring out how she liked to interact with clients and how she liked to work. She came up with her mission to practice “holistic, compassionate lawyering.”
On July 7, 2014, Melanie opened up her law firm in Dedham, MA at the Nathaniel Ames Building. On December 1, 2019, the office moved to its current location in Norwood, MA. Norwood is a diverse community with great food, music, and culture. The office is located conveniently across the street from Norwood Central Station and on the 34E bus line.
Throughout the years, she has had the privilege of helping clients from over 60 countries find safety, heal, keep their families together, and grow their families. She has had the honor of helping hundreds of people throughout the years and have been able to connect to their families, traditions, and cultures. She’s watched children grow up, attend and participate in clients’ weddings, see clients heal from trauma, create families, graduate from school, begin careers, and move on with their lives. That brings her great joy and satisfaction. The slogan, “holistic, compassionate lawyer,” is something she takes to heart and tries to remember every day, even when times are tough.
When someone walks into this office, they are not always in the best place. Melanie wants them to leave in a better than when they came in. She wants to make sure each client is treated as a whole person, not just a file number. That is at the core of the office’s mission. Over the years, Melanie has built a great team of professionals to further this mission.