The NH Bar Association serves 3 constituencies:
- The legal community
- The court system
- The public at large
The New Hampshire Bar Association serves the legal community by:
- Providing resources and tools that assist attorneys in their work and in growing their practices. These include Lawyer Referral Service panel opportunities, annual licensure renewal support, and free subscriptions to Fastcase. Learn more about our member services here.
- Providing attorneys with opportunities to serve through programs such as the NHBA Lawyer Referral Service Modest Means Program, NH Free Legal Answers, Lawline, and Bar Board and committee participation.
- Helping attorneys stay educated and connected through Continuing Legal Education (CLE) offerings, NHBA Leadership Academy, Sections membership, and networking opportunities.
The New Hampshire Bar Association serves the court system by:
- Administering NH Supreme Court Rule 53, NH Continuing Legal Education and Court Rule 55, the Public Protection Fund.
- Administration of Annual Attorney Licensure Renewal Requirements to include notices and support of attorneys practicing in NH regarding their annual renewal obligations, invoicing and payment processing of NH Supreme Court fees, administration and collection of Trust Account Compliance/IOLTA forms and collection of attorney CLE credits and attorney filing of the NHMCLE Affidavit via the Attorney Reporting Tool (ART).
- Fostering communication between the courts and the legal community through NH Bar News and other communication means.
The New Hampshire Bar Association serves the public through:
- Providing legal referrals through the NHBA Lawyer Referral Service Modest Means P and the NH Free Legal Answers programs.
- Creating and providing a variety of Law Related Education resources to grades K-12 .
- Assisting the public in understanding their role in the legal system and directing them to a variety of online legal resources.
- Supporting civil legal services and civics education through our philanthropic arm: The New Hampshire Bar Foundation.
The New Hampshire Bar Association (NHBA) is a non-profit 501(c)(6), court-mandated organization. As a unified bar, all attorneys licensed to practice in the state and NH judges must belong to the NHBA and pay annual dues.
- To serve the members by connecting them with services, programs and resources necessary to function effectively as members of the profession;
- To serve the public by connecting members with the information and opportunities needed to carry out their public service obligations;
- To serve the justice system by speaking and acting as the unified voice of the profession to facilitate promotion and improvement of the procedures and institutions of the law;
- To serve the profession by upholding the unique and valuable role of lawyers as independent counselors and advocates helping to preserve a civilized society governed by rule of law.
History of Bar Structure
|1873||Association incorporated as “The Bar Association of the State of New Hampshire” as a philanthropic club of like minded attorneys.|
|1917||Agnes Winifred “Winnie” McLaughlin becomes the first woman admitted to the Bar.|
|1967||Association petitions Legislature to amend acts of incorporation to change name to “New Hampshire Bar Association.|
|1968||New Hampshire Supreme Court unifies bar for a three-year trial period.|
|1968-1972||Record keeping of attorney records shifts from the NH Supreme Court to the NH Bar Association.|
|1972||New Hampshire Supreme Court decrees unification “be continued without limitation of time, under the court’s continuing jurisdiction.”|
|1972||First professional staff are hired as the Bar shifts from a volunteer to professionally run organization.|
|1978||The Pro Bono Referral Program is created through a grant request from the Legal Service Corporation.|
|1983||The Pro Bono Referral Program becomes affiliated with the NH Bar Association.|
|1993||The NH Supreme Court mandates Rule 53, mandatory attorney Continuing Legal Education credits and the NH Bar Association is tasked with facilitating the Rule.|
|2003||Out of state bar waive-in begun to extend reciprocity to certain out of state attorneys.|
|2009||The NH Bar Association Foundation in integrated into the NH Bar Association bringing the association full circle. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the NHBA.|
Association Purposes & Structure
The NHBA purposes and structure are outlined in detailed in our Constitution and Bylaws. In fulfilling its stated purposes, the Bar’s programs and activities are designed to serve the needs and interests of the membership, the public and the administration of justice.
The NHBA conducts two membership meetings each year—a Midyear Membership Meeting in January, February or March and the Annual Meeting in June. The “Bar year” runs from July 1 through June 30; the Fiscal Year is June 1 – May 31. In addition, the NHBA•CLE department presents over 70 continuing legal education programs each year at various venues and in various formats around the state.
As a member service, the NHBA publishes the New Hampshire Bar News, a monthly newspaper featuring important information from the New Hampshire Court System as well as articles on current legal issues and news about Association services and activities.
An elected Board of Governors meets monthly to govern the Association. The Board is also responsible for adoption of a budget prior to the start of each fiscal year (June 1-May 31). The budget is developed by the Finance Committee, which is composed of Association members and chaired by the President-Elect.
The Board of Governors is composed of:
- six officers
- eleven county governors
- 5 governors-at-large (no more than three of whom may come from the same county),
- an at-large governor representing the public sector
- an at-large governor representing out of state members
The officers serve one-year terms; the county governors serve two-year terms and the governors-at-large serve three-year terms.
Active members from around the state vote for officers and governors-at-large, with active members in each county electing their county representative. Nominations are made by March 1; voting takes place between April 1 and April 15.
No member of the Board receives compensation for services rendered in connection with the performance of Board duties.
Admission to the New Hampshire Bar Association is administered by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.