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Maria L. Santos, ESQ.

 

BACKGROUND SUMMARY

 

Private practice attorney since 1988 with license in Massachusetts.  Over the past twenty-one (21) years, the focus has been immigration law, primarily on employment based Immigration, representing individuals, companies and institutions. I also have experience with family-based immigration. 

Prior to 1998, the  practice was primarily real estate law, representing lenders, buyers and sellers in residential and commercial real estate transactions.

 

BUSINESS HISTORY

 

 1996 - present            Alphen & Santos, P.C.

                                       (formerly Balas, Alphen & Santos PC)

                                       Managing Partner

 2010-   2012                Schwartz Hannum P.C.

                                       Of Counsel – immigration law

 1989 -  1995                Korde & Santos, Chelmsford, MA

                                               

 1985 - 1988                 The Law Offices of Charles McCannon, Jr.

                                       Law Clerk and Paralegal
 

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

  • College Instructor:   Adjunct faculty member at Rivier College in the Paralegal Studies Program early 1990’s. Courses taught:  Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Research and Writing and Advanced Legal Research and Writing

  • MCLE Presentation - What Employment Lawyers Need to Know About Other Practice Areas—Immigration Pitfalls--February 15, 2011 live and webcast

 

EDUCATION:

 

            1988                            BOSTON COLLEGE LAW SCHOOL, J. D.

                                   

            1985                            RIVIER COLLEGE, Bachelor of Science

                                                 Summa Cum Laude

                                   

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • Member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

  • Member of the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA)                                

  • Member of New England Human Resources Association (NEHRA)

 

AWARDS/RECOGNITION

  • Received the Portuguese-American Legislative Caucus Portuguese Heritage Award in June of 2019 (nominated by Representative Tami L. Gouveia)

  • Honoree of Lowell 100 by the International Institute of New England for commitment to immigrants in the Lowell community in 2019

 

ELECTED POSITIONS

  • Town Representative Precinct 8, Chelmsford, MA since 2017

  • School Committee Elected Member April 2019 to present (3 year term), Chelmsford, MA

 

BOARD MEMBERSHIPS

  • Naveo Credit Union (formerly Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union—130 million asset size financial institution with two branches serving Somerville, Cambridge and surrounding areas) –Board Chair from 2007 to 2017; First Vice-Chair and Chair or the ALCO (Asset, Liability and Investments management committee) 2001-2007; 2017 to 2018; Chair of Personnel Committee 2017 to present;  Director from 1999 to present

  • Chelmsford Council of Schools, President 2012 to 2019

  • Chelmsford English Language Learners Council  for Chelmsford Public Schools District—appointed  2018           

  • Center Elementary School Chelmsford, MA, PTO President 2011 to 2013

  • McCarthy Middle School Chelsmford MA,  PTO President 2013-2017

  • St. Jeanne D’Arc Independent Catholic School (Elementary school) member Board of Trustees 2011-2013

  • Director for the Board of MAPS (1999-2000)

  • Member of the Paralegal Advisory Board Members for the Rivier College Paralegal Program which is ABA approved and accredited

  • Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board of Trustees, Rivier College 1995; Board Member 1994-1998

  • Chelmsford School Committee member (4/19 elected for 3 year term) and Secretary of the Board in 2019

 

SELECTED PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Developing and maintaining  a client base of lenders at the local and national level

  • In 1997, 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

  • Developed “of counsel” relationship with an Employment Law based firm while continuing partnership role with my own firm

  • Manage a staff of paralegals, secretaries and associates in a law firm environment concentrating on the excellence of the final product for the client

  • Providing pro bono services to individuals including VAWA and U visa petitions for victims of domestic violence and representing DACA clients

 

PUBLIC SPEAKING

  • 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

  • Keynote Speaker Women’s Week Celebration 1999--Lowell, MA

  • Keynote Speaker Elder Volunteers Awards Breakfast 1999--Lowell, MA

  • Regular Career Day Speaker for various area middle schools and Lowell High School

  • Keynote Speaker for the People Who Make a Difference Award Ceremony for Middlesex Community College, Lowell, MA in 2000

  • Various workshops and presentations at community colleges and guest speaker on immigration topics such as DACA and other pertinent immigration topics

  • Middlesex Community College:  presentation on immigration and its history 2017

  • UMass Women’s Conference 2019:  member of panel of Board Membership

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE

  • 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 to Julio C. Silva with twin daughters

 

Contact: 

e-mail:  msantos@alphensantos.com

Alphen & Santos, PC:  200 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886

www.alphensantos.com; work phone: 978-692-3107 ext. 841