Bar News - September 19, 2008
Bar Foundation News: Well-Deserved Congratulations for Excellence
By: David Snyder
Congratulations on a job well-done should be extended to the NH Bar Association Law-Related Education Program for all they’ve accomplished this past year. The program is evolving into a far-reaching and inclusive format with a demonstrated potential to engage many more students, attorneys, educators, and citizens throughout the state than ever before. As the primary financial supporter of this program, the NH Bar Foundation is pleased with the advancement of the program, especially during the past two grant periods.
Kids have an intuitive sense of fairness and respond with great enthusiasm to experiential programs about the law and the justice system. During the last grant period, participation in A Lawyer and Judge in Every School reached a record 133 attorney and judge volunteers visiting 8,700 students across the state. The number of Bar member volunteers far exceeded the need for We the People…The Citizen and the Constitution event, so many new attorneys admitted to the Bar took part while veteran volunteers waited in the wings for an opening! Milford High School proudly represented New Hampshire in the national finals. And of course, the award-winning Leapholes Project was also very successful.
Students exhibited a state showcase at the Legislative Office Building for We the People…Project Citizen, despite teacher contract disputes that threatened the quality of the event. Fairgrounds Middle School’s portfolio represented New Hampshire at the National Conference of State Legislatures held in New Orleans during the summer.
Although disappointment was expressed over the announcement that LRE would no longer run live competitions for Mock Trial (due to a disproportionate use of staff time and resources for a relatively small number of participating students), many New Hampshire schools ran their own Mock Trial programs this year; one team even traveled to North Carolina for a live competition. A Mock Trial Handbook, cases for different grade levels, and a host of useful resources are easily accessible on the NH Bar’s website under the Law-Related Education tab. In addition, the LRE staff is available to answer questions to help members and educators as needed.
Speaking of resources on the website, we encourage you to take a look at the Law-Related Education page under www.nhbar.org. Kudos are in order for a superb technical and design overhaul, and more for the sheer wealth of easy-to-find and download information!
Last year, the Bar Foundation’s grant covered nearly three-quarters of the program’s budget. Over the past decade, the Bar Association has received $391,000 in grants from the Bar Foundation for the LRE program.
David Snyder is executive director of the NH Bar Foundation.