Matt Johnston (#Mattthelawyer) is a small business attorney and the founder of the Johnston Business Law Group in Frederick, MD. Matt has been in private practice since 2007 and in solo practice since 2012. From software companies and trade associations to retail and the U.S. Navy, Matt’s breadth of experiences contributes to his understanding of industries across the board. He is also the co-owner of Jammy Jams, a music company creating lullaby music using popular music as the source material, and Very Important Parent, a company that sells Gumeez brand teething jewelry. Being a business owner helps Matt intimately understand the struggles of small business owners.
Matt is passionate about staying involved and making a difference in the local community. Matt is a Board Member of SHIP Frederick (the Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership of Frederick County), Building Veterans (a group dedicated to helping veterans suffering from PTSD and addiction), and AIGA Blue Ridge (the largest community of design advocates). As a 2017 Graduate of Leadership Frederick County sponsored by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Matt continues to work with the Leadership Frederick County Council and the Entrepreneur Council for the Chamber.
When not geeking out about contracts, Matt can be found geeking out about soccer, science fiction, and a little bit of heavy metal music. Matt is a big fan of the United States Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Teams, D.C. United, Tampa Bay Rowdies, the Washington Spirit and of course, the University of Maryland Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams.
Matt is a 2005 cum laude graduate of the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America. In 1997 he graduated from the University of Maryland-College Park cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Government & Politics. Matt is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of Maryland and to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Laura Swinchock, a Pennsylvania native, joins the team as an of counsel attorney advisor. Laura took a non-traditional route to becoming an attorney by working full-time while attending law school in the evenings. Distinguishable to Laura is the perspective she brings from her nearly fifteen years of human resources and leadership experience. From healthcare and nonprofit organizations to private industry and government contractors, Laura’s experiences contribute to her understanding of employment and labor issues across industries. Laura is also the founder of Laura D. Swinchock Law Firm, LLC, a boutique employment law firm serving clients in southwestern Pennsylvania.
In her free time, Laura can be found spending time with her rescued fur babies, Tessa, Sadie, and Harley, watching comic-book inspired movies/shows with her spouse, Jason, and reading science fiction/fantasy books.
Laura is a 2019 cum laude graduate from Duquesne University’s School of Law with a concentration in employment and labor law. In 2008, she graduated from Westminster College (PA) cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology-Human Resources. Laura is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is also a Certified Professional in Human Resources through the Human Resources Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resources Management.
Kelly Merchan, a Frederick, Maryland native, joins the team as our Client Services Manager. Upon finishing her masters, Kelly’s passion for social justice and human rights led her to live and work in Ecuador for 4 years where she served as the Program Director at the Hearts of Gold Foundation. Kelly co-designed and managed the only capacity building program for nonprofit leaders in Ecuador, uniting 40+ nonprofit leaders, impacting over 5,000 lives. Prior to her travels abroad, Kelly worked as a Victim Advocate at the Heartly House, and you may have seen her making your latte at Frederick Coffee Company while she was working on her Masters. Kelly currently lives lives in Ithaca, NY with her husband, Eduardo.
In her free time, Kelly can be found traveling, running or hiking on trails, learning for fun, writing, or exploring the outdoors. Coffee, music, and positivity are her perfect combo.
Kelly is a 2015 magna cum laude graduate from American University’s School of International Service where she received her MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a focus in Latin America, and a 2012 summa cum laude graduate from Towson University with a double major in Cultural Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in Spanish.
Arabella Chen is a legal research and writing intern at the Johnston Business Law Group and an aspiring law student. She is currently a senior studying biology at Duke University and spends her time alternately researching global health impacts and legal concepts. Arabella graduated from Frederick High School, where she spent four years on the Mock Trial team with Matt Johnston as the attorney coach, which sparked her interest in law. When not combing through journals or writing, Arabella can be found cooking (pesto pasta, anyone?) and riding horses anywhere she can manage.