The Pro Bono Program has expanded its SWAT (Swift Working Attorneys for Tenants) Team Project to the Seacoast, thanks to the firm of Boynton, Waldron & Doleac. On February 20, four of the firmís attorneys were joined by several other lawyers, including two members of the Manchester firm of Devine, Millimet (where SWAT was launched two years ago) for a training session focused on representing low-income families facing loss of shelter.
SWAT Team Coordinator Joceline Champagne organized the event, which brought together volunteers with NHLA Attorneys Daniel Koslofsky and Elliott Berry for several hours of "basic training" on landlord-tenant law and practice. The Project represents a partnership with NHLA and the Legal Advice and Referral Center to leverage the contributed time of private lawyers to augment the services staff attorneys are able to provide.
"We are very excited about this creative initiative on many levels," said Pro Bono Director Ginny Martin. "As well as helping needy families preserve their shelter, the SWAT Team Project offers a limited, yet vitally important way for attorneys to get involved in the delivery of legal services to the disadvantaged."
Since its inception, the Project has helped more than 100 low-income families and Martin commented that 2008 will see even more people benefit from this service.
She added, "We couldnít maintain this Project without funding from the NH Bar Foundationís IOLTA Program and the Campaign for Legal Services, as well as the generosity of attorneys volunteering their time."