Page 20 - BusinessWest 40 Under Forty 2024
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     While most lawyers say they’re in the business of helping others, some people may not put litigators in
the ‘helpful’ category — at least, not at first thought.
But in representing doctors, small businesses, and others in various court actions, Stephen Holstrom said his life is, indeed, dedicated to helping people.
“Western Mass. is a small-business community, and I’m a litigator for small- business owners,” he explained. “When a business owner is involved in litigation, that impacts their whole life. When people go to court, it’s routine for me, but it’s not for them; it’s a very harrowing, stressful experience.”
As a general-practice litigator, Holstrom has handled complex tort actions, insurance cases, and complex class actions, as well as matters in connection with schools, the cannabis industry, and commercial litigation, including disputes between shareholders and land-use issues. Meanwhile, he represents hospitals, physicians, and other medical providers in medical-malpractice cases and other issues related to health law.
“I like having a varied practice,” he told BusinessWest. “That’s one of the reasons I came to Bulkley. There are needs all over the community, and I want to serve as many parts of the community as possible. That’s why I do general practice.”
And he’s doing it at a time when specialization is much more common in law firms.
“I’m a unicorn; it is fairly unique,” he said. “But you can’t reach every corner if you’re specializing in something. That’s why I’m proud to be a general litigator.”
Recognized by both Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, Holstrom has also brought energy to his interests outside the firm, chairing Wilbraham’s By-Law Study Committee and serving as vice president of the board of directors of the Gray House in Springfield, which helps North End residents meet immediate and transitional needs like food, clothing, and educational services.
“The Gray House is a phenomenal organization,” he said. “It really helps people out of poverty, gives them the supports they need, and helps them get a leg up. It has a generational impact. I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.”
As he does on the job. “I like the thrill of litigation,” he said. “It’s a constantly moving challenge. Frankly, the day is usually a blur; there’s so much going on, and new challenges always pop up during the course of the day.
If you talk honestly to litigators, a lot of them complain that it’s never-ending, but I think that’s reinforcing. That’s what we’re here to do — to deal with emerging issues.” BW
—Joseph Bednar
   A20 2024
Stephen Holstrom
Partner, Bulkley Richardson: Age 38

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