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Bar News - February 22, 2013

NH Bar Foundation News: Foundation Announces 2013 Justice Grants

The NH Bar Foundation in fiscal year 2013 awarded 11 grants totaling nearly $57,000 for justice-related projects in New Hampshire. The grants are made possible through the Bar Foundation’s endowed funds and support a variety of law-related initiatives, including new and innovative programs that address emerging issues or underserved populations.

Applications for $177,000 in projects were received by the Bar Foundation. About one-third of the proposals were approved by the NHBF board of directors. In some cases, projects are able to be funded because they most closely fulfill the purposes specified by particular Justice Funds.

The following are the approved 2013 Justice Grants:

BRIDGES: Domestic & Sexual Violence Support Services will receive $5,000 from the Advancement of Justice Fund. This grant will provide funding for one AmeriCorps Advocate who will help ensure clients can freely access the judicial system by providing assistance negotiating the court system.

The Filmmakers Collaborative, the fiscal sponsor for Telling My Story: A Documentary, was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Charles W. Dean Trust Fund. Telling My Story Inc., the organization making the documentary and organizing programs at the Sullivan County House of Correction, received a $19,916 grant from the same fund. The grants, along with contributions from Dartmouth College, will support the creation of a one-hour film about Dartmouth students and women prisoners working together to write and perform an original play by women in prison. The film will provide a first-hand exploration of class differences, poverty and social abandonment, addiction and incarceration while modeling ways to combat these social ills. The completed documentary, intended to be aired on public television, will educate the public about the legal system and encourage viewers to become advocates for equal justice for all people.

The NH Bar Association received two grants from the Stanley M. and Thalia M. Brown Fund totaling $3,500 and one grant from the Judge Richard F. Cooper Fund for $5,000.

The Brown Fund grants supported a new legislator information session on the courts ($2,500) that was held in January. The second grant will help send the state finalists in the "We the People" competition to the national finals in Washington, DC ($1,000). The grant from the Cooper Fund will support the continuation of "Civics in Action" presentations to adult community groups by the development of a version for schools. (Civics in Action was launched last year, and fulfilled its goal of presenting an interactive program raising awareness of the US Constitution to each of 58 Rotary Clubs in NH in one year. This year, Civics in Action is targeting presentations to all of the Kiwanis chapters in the state.)

The NH Bar Pro Bono Referral Program received a $10,000 grant from a combination of the William A. Baker Fund, the Hon. William F. Batchelder Fund, the AJ McDonough Family Fund and the Richard P. Dunfey Fund to support Pro Bono’s purchase of LegalServer database software, already in use by NH Legal Assistance and the Legal Advice and Referral Center. Sharing the same software platform has been identified as critically important to the smooth functioning of NH’s civil legal services network by all three programs and by the Legal Services Corporation.

NH Catholic Charities, Office of Immigration and Refugee Services (OIRS), received a $3,600 grant from the Vickie Bunnell Memorial Fund to support its partnership with the UNH School of Law to provide access to legal services for immigrants and refugees. The Immigration Law Clinic, which uses UNH School of Law student interns, under the supervision of the OIRS, will expand services to more people.

The NH Supreme Court Society received a grant of $3,500 from the Advancement of Justice Fund, the Arthur & Esther Nighswander Justice Fund and the McLane Fund to support a pilot project of the Constitutionally Speaking event series. Constitutionally Speaking will host two public conversations, a symposium of legal scholars, and provide professional development for community leaders and teachers. The grant will be used for the professional development component of the public conversation between litigators Ted Olsen and David Boies, which is scheuduled for May 17.

The Social Justice Institute (SJI) at the UNH School of Law received a grant of $970 from the Richard P. Dunfey Fund and the McLane Fund to support the SJI Public Interest Coalition Summer Fellowships, which provide a modest stipend to the students while they represent New Hampshire’s underserved population.

The Justice Willliam A. Grimes Award for Judicial Professionalism funds an award to a judicial member of the NH Bar, presented at the NHBA Annual Meeting in June.

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