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Bar News - February 22, 2008

Midyear Meeting Awards Recognize Bar Member Volunteers



The Midyear Meeting is past and by now you know that I presented this year’s Public Service Award to all of the members of the New Hampshire Bar Association that have volunteered their time to the Rule 170 Program, and the Vickie M. Bunnell Award for Community Service to all of our solo and small-firm lawyers for their contributions to their communities. 

This is the 10th anniversary of the Bunnell award, and I chose to honor the entire group of solo and small firm attorneys because they have continued to give their time, their effort and their generosity to the public in so many ways.  Previously, I have said that the volunteer efforts of our members often go unnoticed and unrecognized.   I want you to know, however, that your work and your continued involvement are acknowledged.  You make a difference in the lives of others, in non-profit organizations and in your communities at large.  You do so without publicity or accolades.  You do it because you care and despite the fact that the public may forget that you are a volunteer; that you have a job.  This is what sets you apart.  


I also am honoring all of the attorneys who have served as volunteers in the Rule 170 program with the Distinguished Service to the Public award in recognition of their invaluable service to our justice system. The Rule 170 program is changing in order to provide alternative dispute services statewide, and it will include both volunteer and paid mediators. Including the volunteer component is a wonderful recognition of the support that the Rule 170 program has enjoyed from the Bar over the past 15 years.


I attended the Midyear Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Presidents in conjunction with the American Bar Association Meeting in Los Angeles. One of the speakers was Cesar Alvarez an attorney from Miami, Florida and recipient of the ABA Sprit of Excellence Award at this year’s meeting. He spoke about making a difference in the lives of young people and other individuals and how change is accomplished one person at a time, through small strides, not mass efforts.  He was recognized for his volunteer work.


Our members are already making a difference through their efforts in their communities, an important difference.  It is impossible to name each of the contributions and services of each of these members in the small time allocated to me at the midyear luncheon or in this column.


In presenting the Bunnell Community Service Award to the small and solo firm attorneys in our Association, and the Public Service award to the Rule 170 volunteers, the Bar is recognizing your continued efforts, your generosity of time and your significant commitment to the betterment of individuals, organizations, and communities.


Congratulations to all of you. This recognition is well-deserved.  Thank you for your continued interest and involvement in making a difference.


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