Bar Journal - June 1, 2000
By: Attorneys Charla Bizios Labbe & Clare M. Hinckley
This issue of New Hampshire Bar Journal is the second annual issue devoted to a theme chosen by the president of the bar association. Last year the Board of Editors in conjunction with bar leadership enlisted the aid of President Randy Cooper in selecting a subject and marshaling articles resulting in the June 1999 Professionalism issue. This year President George Moore worked with us in selecting and coordinating this issue devoted to the future of the legal profession. Much has been said and written on the subject in this state during the past twelve months. Many of those who have participated in the debate have contributed in some manner or fashion in the production of this issue.
The first two entries contain the thoughts of outgoing president Moore and incoming president Gregory Robbins on the future of the practice in New Hampshire. Moore talks about the significance of this subject to his presidency and the profession as a whole while Robbins addresses his plans for future consideration of the issue.
Christina Abramson and Charles DeGrandpre discuss the future of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation and the contributions it expects to make to strengthening the justice system through "Access, Education and Innovation."
Attorney John Tobin provides enlightening background information and suggestions for how to maximize efficiency in the future in the delivery of legal services to the poor. Many of his suggestions translate well into the private sector.
Attorney Arthur Greene, the current chair of the Law Practice Management Committee, contributes his article entitled "Preparing to Practice Law in the 21st Century." Attorney Greene has had occasion to consider and participate in many aspects of the debate. "The Future of the Legal Profession and the Organized Bar," authored by Robert W. Minto, follows.
Jule Tobey of Franklin Pierce Law Center and Attorney Ronald Snow offer insight into the impact of technology on the future of the practice in their article. There they discuss the influence of technology on courtroom practice and what changes they anticipate lie ahead.
Robert Dunn discusses the growing phenomenon of attorneys incorporating government relations and lobbying in their practices and how the "lawyer as lobbyist" is regulated differently from the non-lawyer providing the same service.
This issue also contains an unusually large number of contributions from out-of-state individuals who share their experience and insight into the changes we face as a profession. Charles F. Robinson of Florida, a popular speaker at the recent Mid-Winter meeting of the bar association, offers his comments on the impending changes with reference to his participation in discussions focusing on the issue in Florida and elsewhere. A symposium section containing three brief articles from authors unrelated to one another, James L. Thomson and Brett W. Zanober, Gary A Munneke, and Faye A. Silas, provides interesting reading and a number of common themes concerning the changes which lie ahead.
As always we hope this issue provokes some thinking about the future of the practice of law in this state and provides fodder for healthy discussion on the topic. We thank all of our contributors as well as the Board of Editors and bar staff, particularly Managing Editor Donna Parker, for their assistance and encouragement.
Attorney Charla Bizios Labbe is Of Counsel to the firm of Dean, Rice & Kane, Manchester, New Hampshire.
Attorney Clare M. Hinkley is a partner with the firm of Waystack & King, Colebrook, New Hampshire.