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Bar News - May 13, 2011

Giving Back: AmeriCorps and Victim Assistance in New Hampshire

Although not a member of the AVAP advisory board, John L. McGowan of Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella in Portsmouth (recipient of the Pro Bono Rising Star Award in 2008), says that serving with AmeriCorps has affected the way he practices law. "The experience fundamentally altered my worldview and, as an attorney, continues to inform the way I approach my work on land use, real estate and municipal matters, and especially my pro bono work on behalf of low-income or otherwise marginalized individuals." 
AmeriCorps and Victim Assistance in New Hampshire
The mission of the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program (AVAP) in New Hampshire is to "expand the network of services available to victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking throughout New Hampshire." (See the website) The program is part of the Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence and places members at crisis centers, police departments, prosecutorsí offices, departments of correction, child advocacy centers and also on college and university campuses throughout the state. AVAP in New Hampshire has assisted with over 25,000 restraining orders, answered over 19,000 crisis hotline calls and accompanied over 25,000 victims to criminal hearings and arraignments.

Joceline Champagne, of the NHBA Pro Bono Program, is a board member of AVAP. Also on the board are Jennifer Turcot-Beaudet of Wiggin & Nourie in Manchester; John Draghi of Draghi Law Offices in Concord and Steven R. Endres of the Concord Prosecutorís office.

Two other New Hampshire attorneys have served in AmeriCorps and on the AVAP advisory board in the past: Mary Kreuger, NH Legal Assistance, Claremont, and Debbie M. Martin-Demers, of Craighead & Martin in Manchester.

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