Bar News - October 18, 2013
Bar Leadership: Board Hears Law Library Woes, Approves Equality Training
By: Kristen Senz
The NH State Law Library took a major hit to its budget recently, forcing the library to cancel subscriptions to most West case reporters and the 50-state statute collection, law librarian Mary Searles told the NHBA Board of Governors last month. On the plus side, the library has restored its hours and is open for a full schedule on weekdays.
Searles attended the boardís Sept. 19 board meeting, along with Matthew Serge, to provide an update on an NHBA work groupís review of the Barís online legal research member benefit. The work group has heard presentations from both Casemaker and Fastcase, a competitor with similar offerings but a different methodology; circulated a survey to members (see September issue of Bar News); and helped organize a series of live presentations from both providers.
Regarding the law library, Searles said the budget request for legal materials was reduced in FY14 by $133,000, forcing her to cancel many print subscriptions. She explained that as people have transitioned to online legal research, the cost of print resources, particularly case reporters, has increased nearly 40 percent.
The law library subscribes to several online legal resources. Searles said she is interested in raising awareness about the resources Ė both print and online Ė that are available to legal professionals and the public at the New Hampshire Law Library.
In other business, the NHBA Board of Governors approved a proposal by the Gender Equality Committee to host an event this winter geared toward training lawyers about how to negotiate better salaries and work schedules after they have been in practice for a few years. The training is aimed at helping to decrease the disparity in pay between male and female lawyers, said Lauren Irwin, chair of the Gender Equality Committee.
The board appointed attorney Enrique Mesa to the Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC) board.
The NHBA Board of Governors also will be participating in an upcoming work session with members of a strategic planning initiative. (See related story).
The board received an update on the New England Bar Association Annual Meeting, which will be held Oct. 24-26 at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, NH. Russ Hilliard, 2013 NEBA president, said sessions this year will address the future of legal education and leadership development with a how-to presentation focusing on the NHBA Leadership Academy. Another session will feature two past presidents of the ABA, Stephen Zack and William Robinson, who are co-chairs of the ABA Task Force on the Preservation of the Justice System and will provide an update on its work.