Bar News - June 8, 2007
Dinner Raises Over $10,000 for Justice Fund, Honors Dedicated Attorneys
By: David G. Snyder, NH Bar Foundation Executive Director
Editor’s Note: The following is a post-dinner reflection by NH Bar Foundation Executive Director David G. Snyder on the NH Bar Foundation’s 30th Anniversary.
Attorney Eleanor Dahar, chair of the Dinner Committee and incoming NHBA president, raises her glass to toast the Bar Foundation's 30th Anniversary. Bar Foundation photos by Kathleen Schnebel.
As we reflect on our 30-year history, we are astounded by the fact that the New Hampshire Bar Foundation has been able to invest more than $20 million dollars in dozens of nonprofit agencies throughout the state. The organizations we’ve invested in work diligently to provide civil legal assistance to our most disadvantaged residents—tens of thousands who could not otherwise afford legal assistance have been advised, counseled, and represented by some of the finest legal talent in the state. In addition, our middle and high school students have benefited from several annual law-related educational programs we support. Legislators, social service staff, and the general public have had access to many educational forums and workshops designed to inform the public about the law and the justice system.
During our current fiscal year, June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007, the IOLTA Program will have generated approximately $1.8 million dollars. Additionally, during the past year, the Bar Foundation has received gifts and pledges exceeding $340,000. A cy pres award of $152,000 was used to establish a new Justice Fund; the Consumer Protection Law Reform Fund. This fund, made possible by Attorneys Chuck Douglas and Ed O’Brien, is dedicated to future consumer protection advocacy by New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Donations and pledges made through the Bar Foundation’s Justice Society program topped $88,000 and included gifts to the Advancement of Justice Fund, the William F. Batchelder Fund, the Stanley M. and Thalia M. Brown Fund, and the William A. Baker Fund.
Through the generosity of attorneys, law firms, and vendors who advertised in the 30-year commemorative program book or sponsored the anniversary dinner, the Bar Foundation raised $10-$12 thousand dollars that will be invested in the Advancement of Justice Fund. The final figure will be known and announced later this summer. The Advancement of Justice Fund, made available to nonprofit organizations through the Justice Grants Program, supports access to justice initiatives for low-income people, public education about the law, and other projects that improve the administration of justice.
From the first grant of $350 to the State Law Library in 1978, to the $1.75 million in grants disbursed among 23 organizations in fiscal year 2007, the New Hampshire Bar Foundation has become the largest benefactor of civil legal services and law-related education in New Hampshire. We credit our founders, Stanley M. Brown, Fred W. Hall, Jr., Joseph M. Kerrigan, N. Michael Plaut, and Gordon M. Tiffany for their vision, and all those who have followed in their footsteps, for guiding the Bar Foundation in its effort to improve and promote access to justice in New Hampshire.
We sincerely thank Senator Rudman for his keynote speech [at the annual dinner] and his support of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation throughout his long and distinguished career. We congratulate Frederic K. Upton as the 2007 Frank Rowe Kenison Award recipient, Joceline D. Champagne as the Robert E. Kirby Award recipient, and Anthony A. McManus as the 2007 Honorary Fellow.