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Bar News - May 4, 2007

Webster Scholars Program Welcomes Class of 2009


Class of 2009
Daniel Webster Scholars

Leila Archambeault, Chelmsford, MA
Jennifer Bienenstock, New Rochelle, NY
Rose Culver, Concord
Kevin DeJong, Lebanon
Heather Devine, Nashua
Christopher Gosselin, Manchester
Adam LaRock, Penn Yan, NY
Joseph Mattson, Center Harbor
Stephen Patrick Morin, Concord
Nicole Negowetti. Edison, NJ
Christopher Paul, Amherst
Jessica Roche, Chevy Chase, MD
Kristin Scaduto, Georgetown, MA
Kirk Simoneau, Bedford
Hany Thabet, Brooklyn, NY

With parents and guests looking on, 15 new Daniel Webster Scholars were sworn into “a two-year bar exam” at the Supreme Court in Concord on April 17, 2007. Also present in the courtroom were students from the first group of Webster Scholars, now in their second year of the program.

The Daniel Webster Scholars Honors Program is unique in the nation and is being watched with great interest by other states. All of the Scholars are students at Franklin Pierce Law School in Concord, and were chosen because of their excellent scholarship, interpersonal skills and overall ability. Under the guidance of John B. Garvey, director of the program, they follow a curriculum that is designed to have them ready for law practice upon graduation, without having to take the New Hampshire Bar exam.

The program is a collaborative effort of the NH Supreme Court, the NH Board of Bar Examiners, the NH Bar Association and Franklin Pierce Law Center. Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr., along with Supreme Court Justices James E. Duggan, Richard E. Galway and Gary E. Hicks, sat in special session to welcome and swear in the Scholars. Justice Linda S. Dalianis, who, among others, has worked hard to initiate the Webster Scholars program, was unable to attend because of the flooding associated with the recent April nor’easter, but the chief justice expressed her good wishes to the class.


Justice Duggan spoke briefly to the Scholars before the oath was administered. “This is a different approach to legal education,” he said. “You will be ready to represent clients on the day of your graduation.” He concluded his remarks by saying that all the Scholars, first and second year, were striving for excellence.


Both John Garvey and Fred Coolbroth, chair of the Board of Bar Examiners, welcomed the new group. Coolbroth spoke in particular about Bar exams, saying they are still needed and still valid. “They do test knowledge of the law, reasoning and logical thinking,” he said. Even though the Scholars don’t have to sit for the usual two-day Bar exam (which has been described as “a beast”), they do have to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and pass the character and fitness requirements.


In his remarks, Garvey congratulated the new group, mentioning in particular the fellowship they would have with the first group of Scholars. “Knowledge is passed down, passed on. You will learn from each other.”


Upon their graduation, the Scholars, just like any other graduates, will be eligible to sit for bar exams in other states, subject to the same rules and regulations and reciprocity stipulations as other graduates. In addition to not having to sit for the New Hampshire bar exam, they do not have to practice in New Hampshire, although it is hoped that many of them will want to.


The Scholars are chosen by a committee comprised of two justices of the NH Supreme Court, two former NH Bar Association presidents, two deans from Pierce Law School, faculty members—and several experienced practitioners. Any students who wish to enter the special program must apply after the midterm exams in the second semester of the first year of law school.

Webster Scholars’ Oath
"I, (name of scholar), solemnly swear or affirm that I will work diligently, to the best of my ability, to prepare myself for the great responsibility and honor of being fully prepared to represent clients at the moment of my graduation from law school.”


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