Our Beginnings

Modern-day McLaughlin & Stern engages in sophisticated legal work at the cutting edge of the profession.  Yet the firm traces its storied roots back to 1898, when two leaders of the New York bar, Alonzo McLaughlin and Leo Stern, hung out a shingle at 15 William Street in Lower Manhattan. The firm quickly flourished and developed a sterling reputation for providing trusted counsel, as noted by the Brooklyn Times Union in a June 18, 1934 article lauding the firm's founders for their civic involvement.

Alonzo McLaughlin, in particular, was a leading voice in both legal and civic affairs of the day. Born in Greenpoint in 1874, he quickly rose to prominence after graduating from the City College of New York and New York Law School. Among his many legal victories was his securing – as a representative of the West End Board of Trade and the Fourth Avenue Subway League – the Fourth Avenue Subway in Brooklyn.  According to the Brooklyn Times Union, McLaughlin won a "bitterly contested suit" to secure the requisite authorizations for the Fourth Avenue Subway – or, what New Yorkers now know as the "R" Line. Thanks to McLaughlin's efforts, the train made its inaugural run on June 19, 1915, to grand acclaim, and today transports thousands of New Yorkers between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

McLaughlin went on to become the President of the Brooklyn Democratic Club. Under his leadership, the Club, which had previously been splintered by warring factions, united behind a platform stressing transparent and progressive politics, and brought new recognition to Brooklyn's burgeoning political might. Shortly thereafter, he was elected County Judge and served ably in that position for many years.

Since those early years, McLaughlin & Stern has grown from a two-person practice to a firm of over seventy attorneys with offices in Manhattan, upstate New York, and Florida. Our focus has also grown to reflect the changing world around us. We continue to litigate headline-making cases, but also work with clients to structure complex financial, and real estate transactions, protect intellectual property, resolve employment disputes, and assist clients with their estate planning. And, as the economy grows increasingly global, we have expanded our international focus, working with clients and businesses around the world, including in China and India. Thus, from our humble beginnings on William Street, McLaughlin & Stern has grown to a multifaceted law firm adept at resolving complex 21st-century disputes. As we say, with experience comes vision.