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. She realized that being able to connect with real people and help them was her calling. The first time she had a real hearing she represented a skinny, quiet indigenous 16-year-old boy whose father severely 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. In December 2019, the office moved to its current headquarters in Norwood, MA, and in May 2021, Melanie opened a second office in Worcester, MA.
Throughout the years, the firm has had the privilege of helping clients from about 70 countries find safety, heal, keep their families together, and grow their families. Melanie has had the honor of helping hundreds of people throughout the years and has 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, build families, graduate from school, begin careers, and move on with their lives. That brings her great joy and satisfaction.
When someone walks into this office, they are not always in the best place. Melanie wants them to leave in a better place 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.