School of Law News

Thomas ’76 Named to Board of Trustees at Western New England University

Posted Monday, July 20, 2015

Garythomas_gary_trustee_2jpg F. Thomas’76 of Southampton, MA has been named to the Western New England University Board of Trustees. Western New England President Anthony S. Caprio announced the Two-year Law Alumni Trustee appointment, which the Board approved during its annual meeting.

Thomas is President of the Wealth Technology Group, with offices in Westfield and Pittsfield, MA. The Wealth Technology Group uses technologies for wealth accumulation and management, tax deflection, and retirement projections.

A native of Pittsfield, Thomas graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Western New England University Law School. A member of the Massachusetts Bar, he also earned the Master of Laws in Taxation degree from Boston University Law School. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter and a Chartered Financial Consultant as well as a member of The Million Dollar Round Table’s Top of the Table.

Thomas has addressed financial professionals in the United States and Britain and for many years, hosted the “Smart Money” radio program, a popular two-hour weekly financial call-in program covering New York and New England.

Thomas has been a member of the adjunct faculty of Berkshire Community College, Westfield State University, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he conducts seminars which educate the public on retirement planning and other financial strategies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Carson Center for Families and Children, and a member of the Foundation Board of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Gary Thomas was a member of the Western New England University Campaign Cabinet for the Transformations Campaign and served as Treasurer of the Law School Alumni Association. He has been a longtime advocate for Western New England Planned Giving and served on the University’s Planned Giving Advisory Committee for many years.


Western New England University Hosts Legal Summer Camp for Local Students

Posted Thursday, July 16, 2015


Attorneys with the MassMutual legal department along with faculty from Western New England University School of Law, and other local attorneys, participate as volunteers in the Springfield Summer Legal Institute, a program sponsored by the Just the Beginning Foundation from July 6-10. Only thirty-three students from area schools were selected to attend. During the week-long camp, students were introduced to a variety of different components of the legal system as they attended workshops with local attorneys and law enforcement personnel, participated in mock trials, and learned about the justice system. 

“Lawyers are communicators. It is the cornerstone of what we do,” explained MassMutual Corporate Attorney Kevin Rasch Esq. “Our communication workshop is an entrée for the students into one of the central skills they will need to succeed, whether they become a lawyer or take another career path.” 

“I’ve wanted to become a lawyer since I was very young,” explained Duggan Academy eighth grader Taliyah Cheeks. “We did a mock trial in our school this year and I got to participate, and really enjoyed it. My teacher at Duggan recommended me for this program and I’m really glad she did.” 

mm_legal_92jpgJerry Moore, Autumn Matthew, and Taliyah Cheeks 

“I have thought about being a lawyer, but the things we’re learning this week are useful no matter what we do for a career,” remarked West Springfield High School sophomore Autumn Matthew. “We’ll also be holding a mock trial at the end of the week and we become the lawyers. I’m looking forward to that part of the program. They already gave us a case to study and tomorrow we’ll start preparing for our trial.” 

With a focus on the legal profession, the program includes workshops on professional etiquette, public speaking, setting goals, selling oneself by effective networking, and other important life skills.

“When I heard about this program from my school I applied right away,” said Hampden Charter School of Science ninth grader Jerry Moore. “I’ve been thinking a lot about becoming a lawyer and I really wanted to meet some lawyers so I could speak with them and ask them questions.”   

Throughout the week, each student was selected to be either a defense attorney or a prosecutor, and each spent time each day studying and rehearsing their oral arguments for the mock trials held on Friday. The volunteer attorneys served as the trial judges. 


By the end of the week, the Springfield Summer Legal Institute endeavors to give each student the resources and confidence to pursue a post-secondary education and beyond. 

To view and download photos from the Legal Institute click here.


Seminar Dispels Medicare and Medicaid Myths

Posted Thursday, July 9, 2015

medicare_3jpgAttorneys Hyman Darling of Longmeadow, with Bacon Wilson PC., Michele Feinstein of Longmeadow, with Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, PC., and Peter Benjamin of Springfield, Director of Litigation for Community Legal Aid

Western New England University recently held a seminar for the general public titled, Unraveling the Mysteries of Medicare and Medicaid. The seminar began with an insightful look at the Medicare rules and what people will need to know if they or a loved one enters a nursing home and requires access to Medicare benefits.

“Medicare and Medicaid are two terms that can be confusing and yet so necessary for many to receive proper care and support in retirement,” explained Attorney Michele Feinstein’84, of Longmeadow. “Many people who are on Medicare believe that if they get ill there is nothing they can do and they’re going to lose everything they own. That’s just not true.”

“Many people tend to wait until they are retired to educate themselves about Medicare and Medicaid, and that’s too late,” explained Attorney Hyman Darling’77, of Longmeadow. “It’s never to early to understand how these programs work and I hope we dispelled some of the myths and misunderstandings the participants came with tonight.”

The seminar continued with a discussion on how to effectively prepare an asset protection plan, and what you need to know to access Medicaid support. This seminar is offered free to the general public on a periodic schedule. 


School of Law News Headlines:

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School of Law Student Honored for Ethics
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Law Professor Erin Buzuvis Awarded 40 Under Forty Class of 2015 from BusinessWest
Monday, June 15, 2015

New Intensive Language and Cultural Program Partnership Announced for International Students
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

University Holds First Combined Doctoral, Law, Pharmacy, Master's Commencement Ceremony
Monday, May 18, 2015

School of Law Holds Housing Discrimination Conference
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mini-Law School Program Has Major Impact
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

School of Law Presents Medical Malpractice Discussion
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Western New England University School of Law to Host Federico Fabbrini on September 15
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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