Melanie Shapiro

Top rated immigration attorney in Norwood, Massachusetts

Melanie Shapiro, Esq.
Melanie Shapiro
Melanie Shapiro, Esq.

Practice Areas: Immigration, Family law; view more

Licensed in Massachusetts since: 2012

Education: Roger Williams University School of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Selected to Rising Stars: 2018 - 2022

Melanie Shapiro, Esq.

60 Guild St
Ste. 2
Norwood, MA 02062 Visit website


Melanie Shapiro is an attorney in Norwood, Massachusetts, and the founder of the Law Office of Melanie Shapiro. The primary focus of Ms. Shapiro’s practice is immigration law; however, she also handles family law matters in the context of immigration. She has office locations in Norwood and Worcester, Massachusetts, and serves clients in Massachusetts and throughout the United States.

Ms. Shapiro helps clients with immigration matters involving asylum, family petitions, naturalization, special immigration juvenile cases and visas. She is experienced with the federal court system and appears before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

Providing compassionate and personal service is Ms. Shapiro’s goal. She understands the unique struggles and challenges faced by immigrants and aims to help her clients overcome these barriers and lead productive and successful lives. She holds a license to practice law before all Massachusetts state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

Ms. Shapiro earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island, where she received various academic awards and co-founded an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking. She went on to graduate from Roger Williams University School of Law. 

Outside of her law practice, Ms. Shapiro writes and speaks on human rights and immigration topics. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and belongs to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is committed to giving back to her community and volunteers with organizations including the Dedham Art Association and the LGBT Asylum Task Force in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Practice areas

Immigration: consumer, Family law

Focus areas

Asylum, Naturalization & citizenship

  • 90% Immigration: consumer
  • 10% Family law

First Admitted: 2012, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Human Rights Campaign, Member
  • Irish International Immigrant Center-- Haitian TPS clinic, 2016
  • Boston Mayor's Office on Immigrant Advancement volunteer consultations, 2017
  • LGBT Asylum Task Force Pro bono representation, 2015
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, New England Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member
  • Immigration Court
  • Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Massachusetts
  • Federal District Court of Massachusetts
  • Public Interest Scholar, Roger Williams University School of Law
  • , Rising Star, Super Lawyers
  • CALI excellence achievement award, Immigration Clinic, Roger Williams University School of Law
  • , Pro Bono Star, AILA, 2014
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Pursuing one-parent SIJS cases, Author, Navigating One-Parent SIJS Cases, AILA VOICE, Immigration, 2015
  • From 1980 to 2009, prostitution in Rhode Island was decriminalized.1 Prostitution was not prohibited or regulated by law if it was performed indoors.2 The lack of laws or regulations created a unique and permissive legal, economic, and cultural environment for the growth of sex businesses.3 Although a few counties in Nevada have legalized prostitution,4 no other state or county has decriminalized prostitution in recent decades.5 During the twenty-nine-year period from 1980 to 2009, sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls were integrated into the economic development of Rhode Island’s urban areas.6 The growth of sex businesses led to the capital city of Providence being called the “red-light district” of New England.7 The lack of laws controlling prostitution impeded police from investigating and stopping serious crimes and prevented officials from arresting pimps, traffickers, and sex buyers.8 According to Luis CdeBaca, former Ambassador at Large to Combat Human Trafficking and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the U.S. State Department, decriminalized prostitution created a “zone of impunity in which police [could not] go, and where traffickers [could] exploit their prey.”9 This Article describes the growth of sex businesses in Rhode Island from 1980 to 2009 and the harmful activities—particularly violence against women, sexual exploitation, and slavery—that were endemic to it. It describes how individual criminals, organized crime groups, and mainstream business people, such as landlords and lawyers, exploited women and girls for profit and pleasure. For over a decade, from 1998 to 2009, the violent nature of these businesses became increasingly known to law enforcement, other government officials, and the public.10 With increased awareness, momentum grew for legal reform to prohibit prostitution, sex trafficking, and the employment of underage teens in sex businesses.11 In 2009, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed three unprecedented laws to end these practices.12 This Article on decriminalized prostitution is important for contemporary debate. Around the world, there are both small groups and large agencies, such as UN Women13 and Amnesty International, that advocate for the decriminalization of prostitution.14 One such group is suing the state of California to decriminalize prostitution using the same legal argument and strategy that created decriminalized prostitution in Rhode Island in 1980.15 The authors of this Article believe the findings reported herein on Rhode Island’s twenty-nine-year experience with decriminalization are an important contribution to the debate, Author, Decriminalized Prostitution: Impunity for Violence and Exploitation, Wake Forest Law Review, 2017
Educational Background:
  • Adjunct professor, Roger Williams University.  Teaching "Representing Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence." Fall 2021. , 2021
  • University of Rhode Island, Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies, summa cum laude, with honors, President's Award for Academic Excellence, Mother Jones Award, Robert A. Rainville Leadership Award, 2009

Office location for Melanie Shapiro

60 Guild St
Ste. 2
Norwood, MA 02062

Phone: 781-461-0100


5 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2018 - 2022

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