Bar News Masthead

The Dove Project to Hold Training September 24

By Angelika R. Wilkerson, Esq.

August 17, 2020


Now is the time to become a DOVE volunteer. Here’s why: The need is high, the training is accessible, and the limited-scope model is well suited for the scheduling uncertainty that comes with Covid-19.

For many of us, the pandemic has disrupted the daily and weekly routines we rely on to keep life moving smoothly. For many survivors of domestic violence and stalking, this disruption in routines means an increased risk to safety.

Countries across the globe have reported a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and the DOVE Project and our DV partners have been preparing for an influx in cases. After a short lull in reporting, DOVE is starting to see the number of applications for volunteer attorneys rise. Though we haven’t yet seen the tsunami of cases we’ve prepared for, we have seen an increase in the severity of the cases, many involving serious violence and multiple lethality risk factors. It is imperative that when these clients come to us for help, we are able to provide them with the representation they need to obtain safety for themselves and their children.

With this in mind, the DOVE Project has adapted to the current needs of our Bar members to make our annual training more accessible than ever. This year’s training, Survivors Thrive with Legal Advocacy – a DOVE Project Webcast, will be held September 24th from 9AM to 12PM. The live webcast will feature a seasoned faculty of legal and advocacy professionals including the Honorable David Burns who will provide a “View from the Bench” complete with practice tips and court considerations. In addition to the live webcast, participants will be provided with DOVE’s 2020 training manual, which includes current statutes, case law, and other helpful tools. Whether you are a new attorney looking to attend a DOVE training for the first time or an experienced volunteer looking for a refresher and update, this condensed webcast format makes attending a live DOVE training as convenient as it is informative.

While Covid-19 has put some legal practice areas on hold, civil orders of protection are not among them. In the March 16, 2020 New Hampshire Supreme Court Order Suspending In-Person Court Proceedings, there was a specific exception made for civil protective order hearings. Since then, survivors of abuse and stalking have continued to file petitions and the Courts have continued to hold final hearings. Many of these hearings are happening telephonically or via WebEx, meaning that attorneys can volunteer to take cases outside their normal geographic practice area. With the uncertainty surrounding the rescheduling of trials, attorneys who find themselves with some available time now can volunteer to take a DOVE case without worry that it will greatly interfere with yet unscheduled hearings. For attorneys new to practice, the opportunities to litigate cases are limited right now. DOVE provides a unique opportunity to get practical experience working with clients and appearing in court. It’s a great time to invest some time in a program that benefits you professionally as well as the clients you serve.