O'Connell & O'Connell was
founded at the end of the nineteenth century, and members
of the family have maintained the active practice
representing both domestic and overseas clients ever since
Joseph F. O’Connell,
began his practice of law upon
graduation from Harvard Law School in 1897. Local
Boston politics during the early twentieth century
were dominated by such notables as John F. "Honey
Fitz" Fitzgerald, the grandfather of President John
Fitzgerald Kennedy, and James Michael Curley.
Active in politics during the
same era, Joseph, Sr.’s
career led him to serve
two terms as a Member of Congress in the US House of
Representatives a century ago.
Following his defeat by Curley in
1910, he returned to the practice of law in Boston
with his new bride, the daughter of a fellow
Congressman from Pennsylvania. The two raised a large
family of eleven, three of whom were in time to follow
their father into the practice of law. He continued
the practice of law until his death in 1942.
also practiced with Joe Sr. until Daniel was appointed
to the bench of the
Court in 1928. Uncle Don, as he was known, also sat as
a judge during the war crimes trials in Nuremberg,
Germany, following World War II. Click for more on the
Another brother, James E. O'Connell
also a member of the firm during these years.
As mentioned, three siblings in the second generation
followed their father and uncles into the practice of law.
Joseph F. O'Connell,
served as a Judge Advocate in World
War II in the South Pacific (pictured here in New
Zealand in March 1945) and Southwest Pacific theaters.
He left active duty later that year and returned to
Once he had returned home, he
continued as a reserve JAG officer rising to the rank
of Colonel, and rejoined the firm where he practiced
law until his untimely death in 1966. He had two
children, both of whom would follow their father into
the practice of law.
Lenahan O'Connell, who is still actively involved
in the practice, was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in
1938. Following his service as a Judge Advocate officer in
the Southwest Pacific during World War II, he too rejoined
the firm after serving as an Assistant Attorney General in
Massachusetts. He has been in practice now for more than
, the third son in the large
family, served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy during
World War II. He returned to Boston after military
service to practice with the firm for a time before
moving to Kennebunk, Maine where he was subsequently
admitted to practice as well. After being appointed as
Maine's Commissioner for Veterans' Affairs, he
relocated his practice to Augusta, and remained there
for the remainder of his career. He served for a time
as an Assistant Attorney General and later as a
permanent Commissioner on Uniform State Laws. He was
active in community affairs as well, serving as an
active Rotarian, and as Chairman of the Augusta School
Committee. He was to continue his general practice of
law until his death in 1990.
During their absences to serve in World War II, the
practice was maintained by their aunt, attorney
Margaret F. Lenahan
, a graduate of Trinity
College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Joseph F. O'Connell III
, the grandson of
the firm's founder, was admitted to practice in 1975 in
Texas and Massachusetts, and in 1978 in the District of
Columbia. After some years working with Fortune 500
corporate clients in the insurance and reinsurance
industry, he joined O'Connell & O'Connell in 1997.
Recently retired as a Colonel after almost thirty years of
service in the US Army, he was recalled to active service
twice during his reserve career, serving as a Judge
Advocate General officer specializing in international law
in Saudi Arabia in 1990/1 during Operations DESERT SHIELD /
DESERT STORM, and then again in 1996 as a Staff Judge
Advocate in Germany as part of the implementation of the
Dayton Peace Accords that ended fighting in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. He continued to serve for a time after
retirement as an adjunct lecturer at the Defense Institute
of International Legal Studies, where his travels included
seminars in West Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
In addition to his law degree, he has also earned
post-graduate masters degrees in business administration
and strategic studies.