Bar News - March 23, 2007
2007 Statewide Professionalism Day
Hundreds Participate in Special Program
The Statewide Professionalism Day program, which was co-sponsored by the NHBA’s Committee on Professionalism and Continuing Legal Education Committee, brought together nearly 700 lawyers and judges in courthouses in every county on March 9, 2007.
During the event the Pro Bono Referral Program honored an attorney or law firm in each county with a County Pro Bono Award. In addition to the award, recipients received an NHBA CLE voucher. This is the 22nd year for this annual special recognition which is based on several factors, including number of Pro Bono program cases accepted, hours contributed, responsiveness to Pro Bono Program staff, and participation in program activities (for more on the awards see page 2).
The special CLE program on professionalism earned participants 2.0 NHMCLE professionalism hours and centered on the viewing and discussion of several video vignettes acted out by NHBA volunteers and staff. With the guidance of volunteer facilitators, professionalism issues such as mentoring new lawyers; making ethical decisions; providing legal advice in gray areas; unbundling of legal services; dealing with pro se opponents; civility in handling client and professional relationships; maintaining client interests; use of “legalese;” and what can be done to promote professionalism within the NH Bar were just some of the issues discussed in an open forum.
This year, the planning committee produced three new, thought-provoking video vignettes that presented professionalism issues in daily practice.
In each of the 11 locations, a member of the NHBA Professionalism Committee has coordinated with the Superior Court Clerk, local bar association president, and a local facilitator to plan how to best tailor the event to meet the needs and concerns of local practitioners.
In recognition of the importance of this program and to include as many Bar members as possible in the state, the NH Supreme Court suspended proceedings in every state court on the morning of the program.