Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Praise of Paralegals in Western Massachusetts

It is so heartening to see an article like this in BusinessWest, the business publication for Western Massachusetts.

Bacon & Wilson, Cooley Shrair, and Skoler Abbott & Pressler were all profiled for this article describing how critical paralegals are to the success of these firms.

Stacee Crane, who has been in the estates department at Bacon & Wilson in Springfield for over ten years (and is a very nice person), has also given seminars on estate planning and administration with the head of the Estates department, Hyman Darling.

“I started with guardianships and did noting else for a year and a half,” she continued. “Then, Medicaid or asset-protection planning became a big area when all the Baby Boomers’ parents started going to the nursing home; I became a guru at Medicaid and guardianships. I then moved on to estate-planning work, so I’ve covered all the bases of our department.”

Christine Parylak at Cooley Shrair is a bankrupcty specialist working under John Davis.

Davis meets with the client to review his or her situation to determine the best course of action, she said. With a bankruptcy, this would include deciding when and if to file and what type of bankruptcy to pursue: chapter 7 (liquidation) or chapter 13 (restructuring.

Returning to his thoughts on that collaborative relationship that must exist between a paralegal and a lawyer, [Peter] Shrair[, managing partner at Cooley Shrair,] said there are two vital keys for successfully serving any client — “communication and information.”

(Source: BusinessWest)

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