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Bar News - March 7, 2008


Statement of Marilyn B. McNamara, Candidate for Vice President

Marilyn B. McNamara


These are uneasy times. The winds of change have been blowing lawyers around for some time, but it seems as if more than just the windows are rattling now—increased competition, a slowing economy, an overwhelmed court and an ever-present need for volunteerism push us even as many lawyers see decreasing opportunities, conflicting demands on time and talent, less client loyalty and no relief from the 24-hour electronic tethers of cell phone, Internet and e-mail. And then there are the student loans—the hurricane of our profession.

           
I spent my first year after law school helping to establish a Family and Housing Law Clinic at Franklin Pierce Law Center (it no longer operates in that form). Then I went into private practice in Lebanon. I spent 24 years in small firms there, doing the things small firm lawyers do—taking on work to pay the bills, finding a niche that produced a fair stream of clients, volunteering time to my community and my profession, and raising a family.

           
I have served on the Board of Bar Governors several times over the past 30 years or so. I’ve sat on the Judicial Council, the Judicial Selection Commission, various committees of the Bar and assorted outside committees and commissions designed to study some aspect of the delivery of legal services to the public, rich or poor.

           
In 2001, I left private practice to become the Director of the Legal Advice and Referral Center. It’s a challenging job—we’re chronically underfunded, faced with rising costs for health insurance, occupancy, and technology—not much different from private practice, except now I get vacation and sick leave (when I have time to use it, that is) and I have a principal funder, the federal government, that pays its bill on time.

           
I’m running for Vice-President because I believe the next ten years will define how our profession will survive (and it will survive) in this new era; I want to help guide us back to the founding principles of calling, expertise and public service while pushing us forward and into the public eye as trusted counselors, advocates for justice, guardians of the rule of law, and vital players in the world of regulation, business transactions and dispute resolution in all its forms.

           
I’m also running because I know that some members of the mandatory New Hampshire Bar Association report feeling dis-associated. I can’t make everyone happy and grateful to be paying court assessments and bar dues, but maybe I can help a few members feel connected to one another and ultimately the Bar Association.

       

RELATED:
Statement of Jennifer L. Parent, Candidate for Vice President

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