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Pro Bono Spotlight: James Gallagher

Most first-year law students are eager to leave the classroom for real-world legal experience, often through an internship at a prestigious firm. James Gallagher’s search for real-world experience sent him on a much different path.

In the summer of 2002, after completing his first year at Suffolk University Law School, Gallagher spent 10 weeks at the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia to earn his commission. The Pennsylvania native graduated from Suffolk in 2004 and then served four years as an active-duty officer in the Marines. During his time on active duty, Gallagher served in Hawaii and Korea, and deployed to Karmah, Iraq in 2008 with 2d Battalion, 3d Marines as its Battalion Judge Advocate.

Today, Gallagher remains involved with the military through the Reserves — he currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and serves in a dual role as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for Marine Corps Base Albany in Georgia and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for Marine Corps Logistics Command, also in Albany. In his civilian career, he is a shareholder at the Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C., where he specializes in business and real estate litigation.

Moreover, he is also a dedicated and deeply valued volunteer attorney with Veterans Legal Services.

“Both of my parents did a lot of volunteer work and they always impressed upon my siblings and me the importance of helping others,” said Gallagher, who joined Davis Malm in 2009, just after leaving active duty. “My dad was a lawyer and I watched him do a lot of pro bono work.”

Gallagher comes from a long line of Marines and servicemembers, and he is proud to carry on their tradition of service. As a pro bono attorney for VLS, he has helped a disabled veteran facing housing insecurity, provided will and probate counseling, and consulted on an unlawful discharge order, among other services. In addition, he is a regular volunteer with VLS at the annual Greater Boston Stand Down event, hosted by the New England Center and Home for Veterans.

“When I became a lawyer,” said Gallagher, “I knew I had to use my legal skills and experience to help veterans with their unmet needs.”

For more information about pro bono opportunities at Veterans Legal Services, please contact Pro Bono Director Angie Vargas at

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