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Maria L. Santos, ESQ Resume


BACKGROUND SUMMARY
Private practice attorney since 1988, licensed in Massachusetts.  Practice is focused on immigration and nationality law, including employment- and family-based immigration, representing individuals, companies and institutions.  Prior to 1998, focused on real estate law, representing lenders, buyers and sellers in residential and commercial real estate transactions.

BUSINESS HISTORY

  • 1996 - Present | Alphen & Santos, P.C., Managing Partner
  • 1989 - 1995     | Korde & Santos, Attorney
  • 1985 - 1988     | The Law Offices of Charles McCannon, Jr., Law Clerk and Paralegal

EDUCATION

  • Boston College Law School, J. D. 1988
  • Rivier College, Bachelor of Science--Summa Cum Laude 1985

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA)
  • New England Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM)
  • Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce
  • Northern Middlesex Chamber of Commerce
  • North Suburban Chamber of Commerce

BOARD MEMBERSHIPS

  • Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union
    • Chair of the Board of Directors, 2008 to present
    • First Vice-Chair and ALCO Subcommitte Chair - 2001-2007
    • Director since 1999
    • CPCU is a $90 million asset size financial institution serving Somerville, Cambridge and surrounding areas)
  • Center Elementary PT
    • Board President 2011 - Present
  • Ste Jeanne D’Arc School
    • Board Member, 2012 – 2013
  • Center Elementary School Council
    • Board Member, 2012 - 2013
  • Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS)
    • Board Member, 1999 - 2000
  • Rivier College Paralegal Program Advisory Board
    • Board Member, 1994-1998
  • Rivier College Alumni Board of Trustees
    • Board Member, 1994-1998
    • Executive Committee Secretary, 1995

PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • In 1996, transitioned area of concentration to Immigration and currently practice only immigration and nationality law with a national client base of corporate, institutional and individual clients.
  • Manage a staff of paralegals, secretaries and associates in a law firm environment concentrating on the excellence of the final product for the client.
  • Provide pro bono services to indigent individuals including VAWA and U visa petitions for victims of domestic violence.
  • Educating the community about immigration issues and processes through speaking engagements and media
  • Developing and maintaining a client base of lenders at the local and national level.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Rivier College – Adjunct Professor in the Paralegal Studies Program

  • Introduction to Legal Studies
  • Advanced Legal Research and Writing

PUBLIC SPEAKING

  • Speaker, Northeast Association of Realtors, Immigration Basics for Brokers, November 2013
  • Speaker, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Middlesex Community College, November 2012
  • Keynote Speaker, 21st Annual Massachusetts Council for International Education “Our World in Transition: Opportunities & Challenges” Bridgewater State University  November 2012
  • Radio Interview on WCAP Lowell regarding immigration March 2010
  • Panelist for Boston College LALSA Alumni Panel 2010
  • TV appearance on Westford Community Access Television about immigration 2009
  • Keynote Speaker Women’s Week Celebration 1999--Lowell, MA
  • Keynote Speaker Elder Volunteers Awards Breakfast 1999--Lowell, MA
  • Keynote Speaker for the People Who Make a Difference Award Ceremony for
  • Middlesex Community College, Lowell, MA in 2000
  • Regular Career Day Speaker for various area middle schools and Lowell High School
  • Addressed the Honor Students of Rivier College in 1994 at Honors Convocation in a motivational speech entitled "Commitment to Life."
  • Presenter at the annual First Time Home Buyer's Seminar sponsored by MassBank for Savings and Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership seminars

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERING

  • President: Chelmsford Council of Schools
  • Volunteer: Center School Elementary fundraisers and events 2011-2013
  • Volunteer: City of Boston legal clinic for Haitian Temporary Protected Status 2010
  • Volunteer Organizer for AILA’s 2009 National Day of Action
  • Rectora for Peace/Emmaus movement (a Retreat for ages 19-29)
  • Coach for the Lowell Catholic High School Mock Trial Team 1991-1996
  • Citizenship Program Volunteer through MAPS –preparing individuals from various cultures for naturalization
  • Co-organizer and Creator: Go the Distance, a self-awareness workshop for teenagers in Lowell schools (sponsored by Middlesex Community College)
  • Member of the “Motivators” in the Portuguese-American Lowell community.
  • This group was funded by the Luso American Foundation to motivate community voting by Portuguese-Americans

PERSONAL

  • Fluent in Portuguese
  • Naturalized American Citizen (Immigrated from Portugal)
  • Married
  • Mother of twins