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Bar News - May 13, 2011

Giving Back: Volunteer Numbers Increase to Meet Tough Times


Marilyn Billings McNamara
A few months ago I highlighted the contributions of the Legislation Committee of the Bar – lawyers who volunteer countless hours reviewing pending legislation and making recommendations on Bar positions in matters pertaining to the administration of justice and the practice of law. I noted that many lawyers go about the Bar’s business with little fanfare, sitting on committees, participating in sections, volunteering at events and contributing to Bar News and the Bar Journal. In addition, lawyers serve many roles within their own communities.

A recent poll of lawyers performed by the Bar has confirmed what we suspected – a very high percentage of us – 83 percent – reported that they volunteer time and talent. The list is long and varied and it is clear that many who volunteer do so in more than one field of endeavor.

Lawyers’ services to others have increased as the need has risen. Many volunteers demure when praised; they don’t do the work for recognition. We’ve persuaded a few of our many volunteers to allow us to publish their contributions; they are a representative sample of lawyers who see the need and come forward. Given the high number of volunteers among our Bar members, it’s fair to say that virtually all who are able to serve, serve in some volunteer capacity or another.

With severe budget cuts come reductions in service to our neediest community members; the need for volunteers will become all the more urgent in the coming years. I am confident that our profession, not only as lawyers, but as responsible citizens, will step up in service to those who will be harmed.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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