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Bar News - September 17, 2010

Keep Your Law Office Safe!

The Domestic Violence Advocacy Project and Pro Bono Program Committee on Law Office Safety recently released an extensive guide that highlights the many ways that attorneys can ensure a safe environment for employees and clients.

The project was supported by grant 2005-WL-AX-0090, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice.

Here are three tips from the manual:

Secure Your Electronic Information – Ensure that Internet browsers delete history and cookies automatically; password protect files and folders when available and use external data storage for especially sensitive data; use antivirus software; update your systems regularly.

Secure Your Office – Make sure parking lot has lights (possibly cameras); use the buddy system when entering/leaving office; separate the reception area from the rest of the office; use locks for storage areas; install a panic button; use visitor tags and logbooks; have emergency procedures in place (fire, medical, criminal); have a floor plan in every office.

Secure Your Person – When met with aggression try to remain calm; use breathing techniques to maintain control of yourself in stressful situations; control your environment (see secure your office); don’t engage emotionally with aggressors; learn basic self-defense principles and techniques.

The Committee thanks the volunteers that donated their time and expertise to create the guide:

Joseph Caulfield
Law Office of Joseph Caulfield

May Krueger
New Hampshire Legal Assistance

Sunniva Mulligan
Stephen A. Cherry & Associates

Valerie Reed
Wiggin & Nourie
           Kate Geraci
Pierce Law Student

Adrian LaRochelle
Pierce Law Student

Chantell Wheeler
NHBA Pro Bono Program

Craig Sander
NHBA Asst. Communications Director

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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