By Brian McLaughlin, Jr., Esq.
Got the Monday or Tuesday blues? Come volunteer at places such as the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home with Shelter Legal Services, whose mission is to provide legal services to low-income veterans and the homeless. A few weeks ago, I volunteered at the legal clinic and had the privilege of meeting a former World War II veteran who served in the South Pacific. My role was minor, as the staff attorney explained each of the legal documents in question. During this process, the client would intermittently interject with stories of his life and family which will stay with me for a lifetime. He shared his delight at being selected for the military band thinking he would not see combat, but then laughed as he told us that they, "shipped us off to the front anyway." As I left the building, I couldn't help but think how times are different and how lucky I am to be a lawyer. I felt privileged to meet these remarkable folks and help them, if only for a short time.
As a Shelter Legal Services volunteer, you are confronted with complex socioeconomic issues which are a different challenge from your day-to-day practice. You are supported by the experts at Shelter Legal Services for the entirety of the volunteer session. There is no need for formal training; you just need to have an open mind and a willingness to serve those who risked their lives for us.
I urge you to find out how you can help: www.shelterlegalservices.org or 617-552-0623.
Brian McLaughlin Jr. is the owner and sole proprietor of Brian McLaughlin LLC. His practice focuses heavily on family law, including divorce, paternity and child support. In addition to family law, Mr. McLaughlin regularly takes unemployment benefits and special needs education cases. Mr. McLaughlin is committed to pro bono work and has successfully resolved cases for both the Volunteer Lawyers Project and Women’s Bar Foundation. He believes in the importance for quality legal representation for all and regularly serves as the Volunteer Lawyer of the Day at the Suffolk Probate and Family Court. Mr. McLaughlin currently serves on the Family Law and Pro Bono Steering Committees at the Boston Bar Association and holds the position of Civil Rights Liaison to the New Lawyers Section.
Brian is a graduate of Boston College, magna cum laude and Boston College Law School. His article Not Your Average First Year appeared in the July 2011 edition of the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal.