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Bar News - December 13, 2013

Divorce Camp Boosts Pro Bono Ranks

NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program Divorce Camp class of 2013.
Each year, the Pro Bono Referral Program hosts Divorce Camp, an intensive training program that provides attorneys volunteering for family law cases with a thorough grounding in what can be a challenging but rewarding practice area. First offered in 2002, the program has helped over the years to bring in new talent to bolster the Pro Bono corps of volunteers.

In a small-group setting held in three evening sessions and led by experienced faculty and members of the marital bench, attorneys are led through the divorce process and have a simple (no children/no property) divorce case assigned to them. The attorneys are sometimes matched with experienced Pro Bono panel attorneys as mentors.

Students learn about the Pro Bono Program, how to deal with common pro bono issues, and the benefits that come with service. The faculty address topical issues about which all family law attorneys need to know, including dealing with pro se litigants and the basics of unbundled representation.

One past participant, a new attorney (in practice less than three years), said of the program: “I’m very glad I took this course – I only wish I had been able to take it months ago, before beginning work at a family-law-focused firm.” Another participant said the classes “laid a wonderful foundation for practice in this area of the law.”

Divorce Camp 2013 had 14 attorneys attending the three sessions, taught by returning faculty Catherine Shanelaris, Pam Peterson, James Ferro, Charles Greenhalgh, and Master Michael Garner.

RELATED: Pro Bono Efforts Continue This Holiday Season

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