Paralegal Faculty



Mr. Dion is a sole practitioner in West Palm Beach. He was formerly with the Palm Beach County Office of the Public Defender as an Assistant Public Defender. He is currently a sole practitioner representing clients in Criminal Law, Traffic Law, Contract Law, and Corporate Law.

He earned his J.D from Suffolk University Law School, and Bachelor of Arts from Boston College. Mr. Dion teaches an LSAT course in the Test Preparation program at FAU. He also teaches for Palm Beach Community College.

Mr. Dion teaches Corporations and Criminal Law in the Paralegal Program.


Samantha Vacciana serves as Assistant Regional Counsel for the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel in West Palm Beach, Florida. Prior to her current position, Ms. Vacciana practiced family law for approximately five years, specializing in the areas of domestic violence and child custody.

Ms. Vacciana received both her BA and MA degrees from Florida Atlantic University and her JD from the University of Florida, College of Law where she graduated cum laude. She is Florida Bar Foundation and Equal Justice Works Fellow.

Ms. Vacciana is admitted to practice in Florida and in Federal District Court.

Ms. Vacciana teaches Domestic Relations in the Paralegal Program.


Elise Gross is a sole practitioner in Boca Raton. Her practice concentrates on estate planning, probate, and asset protection, as well as the business and succession planning which are involved in such procedures. She received her B.A. from Florida International University, her J.D. from New York Law School, and her L.L.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami, School of Law. She is also licensed to practice in New York.

Ms. Gross teaches Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning for our Paralegal Program.


Javier Zuniga is a sole practitioner in Boca Raton. His practice, Zuniga Law, P.A., is focused in bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, consumer defense and immigration. Before being a lawyer, Mr. Zuniga worked in upper management of a large non-profit organization assisting distressed consumers with debt problems.

Mr. Zuniga received his B.S. degree (Paralegal Studies) and his J.D. from Nova Southeastern University. He is admitted to practice in Florida and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Zuniga is a member of the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association. He is bilingual and a legal columnist in three Spanish publications in the tri-county area: Diario Golazo, Minutos360 & Momentos360.

Mr. Zuniga teaches Bankruptcy and Immigration in the Paralegal Program..


Yelena Sverdlova, Esq. is the founding member of Capital Planning Law, PLLC. Ms. Sverdlova has a true passion for the law and has obtained extensive experience in many facets of business law including, but not limited to: business start-ups, business agreements, general business counsel, and asset protection. She also provides legal representation in the areas of estate planning, probate administration, guardianship and real estate law. She also assists immigration clients with their L1 visas by assisting with the preparation of the necessary business documents and/or business planning. Ms. Sverdlova takes every effort to go above and beyond for her clients and provide legal services that her clients feel comfortable and are satisfied with.

Ms. Sverdlova has also began her LL.M. in Taxation at Boston University School of Law to compliment her legal experience and to be able to assist her clients with their taxation needs. Her knowledge in taxation will allow her to provide a better range of tax planning services to her estate planning and business law clients. Ms. Sverdlova ultimately aspires to have a full functioning tax firm upon the completion of her LL.M. program.

Ms. Sverdlova teaches Contract Law and  Real Estate Law in the Paralegal Program.


Mr. Long was raised and educated in Florida. In 2009, he graduated with a Finance degree from the University of Florida. For law school, Mr. Long attended the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, where he graduated cum laude. While in law school, Lyle interned at Michael Weinstein, P.A. and gained valuable state and federal defense experience. In 2013, he accepted a position as an Assistant Public Defender in Broward County, Florida. As a Public Defender, Lyle quickly ascended from handling misdemeanors in county court to serious felonies in circuit court. He has tried numerous jury trials in County and Circuit Court. After gaining litigation experience in the public sector, Lyle transitioned into private practice. In 2016, Mr. Long became partner at Long & Jean, P.A. His firm focuses on Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, and Criminal Defense. Mr. Long is licensed to practice in Florida and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Mr. Long teaches Personal Injury in the Paralegal Program.


Ms. Kastanias earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from the University of Alabama and her Juris Doctor from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. As an attorney, Ms. Kastanias assisted families in elder law, with a focus on guardianship and probate. She became an adjunct instructor in the Paralegal Certificate Program at FAU in 2006, teaching various courses, Certified Paralegal Exam Review Courses. In 2013, Ms. Kastanias founded Paralegal Prep, LLC, to assist paralegals with legal writing and exam prep.


Ilena Alvarez graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School (now Western Michigan, Cooley Law School) with a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Laws in Taxation in 2010. Her focus of practice consists of estate planning, business planning, guardianships, and probate. She presently manages her own firm, while teaching paralegals and business majors for the past 4 years.

Mrs. Alvarez teaches Probate and Introduction to Law in the Paralegal Program.


Laura Reich is a founding partner of Reich Rodriguez, P.A., a women-owned law firm in Miami, Florida, focusing on complex commercial dispute resolution and international arbitration. Prior to her current position, she spent nearly a decade in the disputes department of White & Case LLP, an international law firm, and several additional years in a Miami boutique firm. Her firm specializes in representation of clients in international matters and in art law disputes.

Ms. Reich graduated with honors from University of Florida College of Law where she was a member of Florida Blue Key and the galleys editor of the Florida Law Review. She has previously taught courses at Florida International University College of Law. She is currently on the executive committee of The Florida Bar’s International Law Section and is co-editor-in-chief of the section’s International Law Quarterly publication. She serves on The Florida Bar’s standing Legal Needs of Children Committee and is vice president of the board of Florida’s Children First, an advocacy organization dedicated to bettering Florida’s foster care system.

Ms. Reich teaches Effective Legal Research and Introduction to Law in the Paralegal Program.