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Buckfire Paralegal Scholarship 2019

Dear Western Massachusetts Paralegal Association,

Our scholarship committee is pleased to announce the first annual Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Paralegal Scholarship Program.

This scholarship was established as part of our law firm's commitment to helping aspiring paralegal students who are in need of financial assistance to achieve their academic goals and professional dreams.

Our committee will be selecting one winner each year to be awarded $1,000.00.

Applications are open to students who are enrolled in a paralegal education program for the 2019 spring, summer, winter or fall semester of classes. There is no fee to apply.

If you have not yet publicized this scholarship, the enclosed sheet of paper will provide you with the application criteria and information to post on your website or otherwise share with eligible students.

The deadline to file an application for the scholarship is October 1, 2019.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at marketing@buckfirelaw.com.

Download the pdf below for more information.

Buckfire Paralegal Scholarship-2019.pdf

Ad Hoc Committee Request

The Vice President and Director of Profession Development, Mindi Schaefer, is looking to create the Ad Hoc Committee as required in Resolution 18-09 regarding award criteria (Resolution language noted below). Ideally, this Ad Hoc Committee would consist of at least one member from each Region. If you are interested in joining this Ad Hoc Committee, please complete the Committee Member Interest Form in this link: 

Resolution 18-09 states:

BE IT RESOLVED that NFPA shall appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to review criteria for individual awards and recommend enhancements of such criteria and methods for verifying statements made in nominations generated outside of the local association; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ad Hoc Committee shall report at the 2019 Policy Meeting.

Courthouse Dogs

We raised $1,400 for Courthouse Dogs. Thank you to everyone who donated.

After IOLTA scam, loss stays with firm

Bank meets duty of ‘ordinary care’

By: Kris Olson August 23, 2018

In what is being called a cautionary tale for attorneys, a Superior Court judge has found that a law firm that fell prey to a “classic internet scam” must bear the financial loss after wiring a large sum of money from its IOLTA account. ...

This is an article straight out of MA Lawyers Weekly.

It highlights the lengths that a scammer will go to in order to extract $$ from someone and is key for someone who handles the purchase and sales of real estate, stock, assets etc., where receiving checks is routine.

The article also focuses on the importance of understanding that a check from a client or third party does not equate to “good funds”. 

Especially important for those of us who wire funds out in connection with closings. 

Attorney rec’d a check for over $300,000, had it deposited, then at request of the scammer client, had a wire initiated out soon after.  Once that wire had hit the scammer’s account, it came to everyone’s attention that the funds were no good but it was too late to recall the wire.  Law firm was charged back the amount of the wire. 

According to the article, “Had the bank just delayed wiring the money another six or seven hours, the check would have bounced, and the loss would have been averted”.  

Link below. (subscription necessary to read full article)


NFPA Joint Conference 2020 Bids

NFPA is now accepting bids for Joint Conference 2020! We are soliciting bids from associations on both the East and West Coasts this year. If we receive no bids from the East or West Coast associations, we will consider bids from other locations. The deadline for submission is November 30, 2018. The Board will review and announce the selected host at the Winter Board meeting in January 2019.

Click here to download the Joint Conference Host Application.

Send a completed application to JointConference@paralegals.org by November 30, 2018.


Western Massachusetts Paralegal Association Inc. ("WMPA") is a voluntary, nonprofit association that formed in 1988 to promote the professional development and continuing education of paralegals in the Western Massachusetts area.

Click here for the 2019 WMPA membership form.

 2019 WMPA Membership Application - Fillable.pdf


Washington State Recognizes Paralegal Day

Thank you to Washington State for recognizing the work of paralegals! Click here to view the proclamation.

Pro Bono Committee

The NFPA Pro Bono Committee welcomes our 2019 members as follows:

Christine Flynn
Deborah Arbuckle, Pa.C.P.
Joanne Randa, VARP
Kelley Chaney, RP
Nicole Martinez
Mariana Fradman
Cassandra Franklin
Linda Odermott, RP, OCP
Teresa Scharf, OSBA
Kelli Smith, CRP
Terri Yang
Mindi Schaefer, M.S., RP, OSBA, AACP (as NFPA VPPD)
Nita Serrano, RP (as NFPA President)

We are proud to have representatives from all five regions serving on the committee.

If you have any questions for the committee or are looking for local pro bono and/or community service opportunities or projects, please e-mail Christine Flynn at cflynn917@yahoo.com

2018 Convention Recap

Award Winners

Congratulations to all of the 2018 award winners:
NFPA PCCE Scholarship - Shelly-Marie Magdadaro
NFPA PACE Scholarship - Becky Kerstetter
NFPA Certification Ambassador Award - Tina Johnson, RP, MnCP
Thomson Reuters/NFPA $3,000 Scholarship - Alexandra Settle
Thomson Reuters/NFPA $2,000 Scholarship - Savannah Lopez
Pro Bono Award - Minnesota Paralegal Association
NFPA Justice Champion Award - Sonjanita Jordan
NFPA Outstanding Local Leader - Wendy Otto, RP
NFPA Paralegal of the Year - Theda M. Yandell, RP
NFPA William R. Robie Award - Brenda Cothary

2018 - 2019 NFPA Board

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 NFPA Board! 
Nita Serrano, RP - President
Mindi Schaeffer, M.S., RP, OSBA, AACP - Vice President and Director of Profession Development
Lori Boris, RP, MnCP - Vice President and Director of Positions and Issues
Linda Odermott, RP - Vice President and Director of Certification
Yvonne DeAntonio - Vice President and Director of Membership
Lisa Lynch, CRP - Vice President and Director of Marketing
Barb Peppersack - Treasurer and Director of Finance
Mianne Besser - Secretary and Director of Operations
Brenda Cothary - Region I Director
Susan McNicholas, ILAP - Region II Director
Lori Wagner, RP, IRP - Region III Director
Becky Reedy - Region IV Director
Josie Estes - Region V Director
Valerie Wilus, RP, Pa.C.P. - Board Advisor




Do you need help with your resume or can you spare a few minutes to help others with their resume? 

Hop on over to the resume review group and get started!

Resume Review Assistance (Facebook Group)

Nine Surefire Ways To Ace Your Annual Performance Review

William Arruda

William ArrudaContributori

Photo credit: Shutterstock

It’s time for your annual review. Are you psyched?

You should be. Your performance review, believe it or not, can be a powerful force for advancing your career. So if you’re feeling cynical about the review process, change your mindset, put a smile on your face, and get ready to soar.

As with many activities in life, the most important step in the process is preparation. So in this piece, I’ll share with you nine essential prep steps for a perfect performance review:

Click to read more about acing your annual performance review!


Relative Rights

These are the rights of a person that are considered in reference to the rights of other people.

(Black's Law Dictionary)

Temporary Restraining Order

1. The preliminary or temporary injunction before a final decision.
2. An order by a judge for a person to stop an action.

(Black's Law Dictionary)

Letter to ABA requesting revision to their definition of a Paralegal

At the 2016 NFPA Policy Meeting, an agenda topic was brought before the delegates to charge the Vice President and Director of Positions and Issues and the Vice President and Director of Marketing to develop a Marketing Plan for the Paralegal profession and NFPA’s definition and preferred term, “paralegal.” This Marketing Plan, which was approved by the Board at the 2017 Spring Board Meeting, was to include the development of a letter to the ABA.  That letter has now been transmitted to the ABA, and we have received a response indicating that the letter will be shared with the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals at the October 2018 meeting, after which, they will send a formal response.  We will keep NFPA members apprised of the results of that outreach. 



If you are interested in furthering your career, joining a professional association is a good start. There are associations for nearly every profession or area of interest and many have national, state and regional chapters available to join. An association is a synergistic group, meaning that the effect of a collection of people is greater than just one person. So, how exactly can becoming part of this synergistic group help further your career goals? Here are some benefits of joining an association.

Enhance your network:

For most people, creating professional relationships is important, and joining a group allows you to have a sense of security and trust. From this, you are able to support and help one another in reaching your professional goals. Associations sponsor numerous events throughout the year that allow you to connect with your peers. You can share ideas, ask for advice, volunteer to be a speaker or become a member of a committee. Since most associations have national or local conferences, you can participate and have the opportunity to learn about breaking news in your career, learn "best practices" or new ideas, hear about key achievers in your field and also meet and brainstorm with others who are also looking to share and learn new information. Another benefit of enhancing your network is that you may find a mentor to help you with your professional needs or you may be in a position to become a mentor to someone else. Giving back can be the greatest reward and benefit. Participating in forums, chat groups or discussion boards sponsored by the association is also a great way to grow your network. This allows you to use your peers as sounding boards and often make some great friends with the same interests as you.

Click here to finish reading the article ...

Non-NFPA Member Opening on Ethics Board

There is currently an opening on the Ethics Board for a non-NFPA member with expertise in legal ethics and/or cyber legal ethics.  This individual can be, but doesn’t necessarily have to be, a lawyer.  Please let Pamela Starr, Ethics Board Chair, and me know at ethics@paralegals.org if you know of anybody who would be willing to serve in that capacity.  Thanks!

WMPA News & Notes



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Links to other organizations are provided solely as a convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by WMPA unless specifically indicated. By clicking a link to an external website you acknowledge that WMPA assumes no responsibility for the content of that site or any service it may offer.
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Updated on: 15 Jun 2018
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