Maegan Brooks: 30
Attorney, the Law Office of Maegan Brooks
Maegan Brooks’ family has lived in Holyoke for several generations, and she believes in the future of Greater Springfield. But negative perceptions, she said, hinders that potential.
“That’s really our downfall,” said Brooks, who has backed up her confidence by opening a business-law firm in downtown Springfield. “I’m a Western Mass. native; I love Western Mass. The people who decide to stay here do so because they also love it and see the potential here. I want to see Springfield reestablish itself as a thriving city.”
After graduating from Boston University, Brooks returned to her roots and worked for area nonprofits while earning a master’s degree in Organizational Development from Springfield College. She aspired to be an executive director for a nonprofit — but then got an epiphany that led to a law degree from Western New England College.
“I started taking business-law courses, and I realized that the best way to help a community is to help with economic development,” she explained. “So my passion has been in developing small businesses and social enterprises.”
Convinced that the valley is home to an especially creative, hardworking population, Brooks focuses her practice on helping individuals build businesses.
“I meet with people who say, ‘I got laid off from my job, but I’ve had this idea for the past 20 years, and I want to move forward.’ I’m helping people who have thought about and dreamt about something for a long time begin to realize their dreams,” she said.
“It’s great to be a part of that, to encourage people and tell them, ‘yes, you need legal help. You need to do this right so you won’t have issues later.’ And I feel the same way about the nonprofits I see.”
With some creativity — and legal assistance — Brooks thinks those types of people can bring the local economy back. And that brings her plenty of satisfaction.
“I see some attorneys who are miserable,” she said. “But I’m excited about the work I do.”—Joseph Bednar