Bar News - March 19, 2014
Tobin to Step Down as NHLA Director
John Tobin, who has led New Hampshire Legal Assistance as executive director for 18 years, has announced that he will step down from that post in June, when he turns 65. He hopes to continue as a part-time staff attorney at NHLA.
Jim Kerouac, chair of the joint board of NHLA and the Legal Advice & Referral Center, is leading a search committee to find a new executive director. “John has been a wonderful leader,” said Kerouac. “He has led the organization through some good times and some difficult times, with the highest level of compassion and professionalism. He deeply cares for the community he serves.”
Applications to fill the NHLA post will be accepted until the position is filled, but a deadline of April 14 has been set to receive full consideration, Kerouac said. Assisting NHLA in the search is Patricia Pap, executive director of Boston-based Management Information Exchange, an organization that provides administrative support and training for legal aid organizations. Candidates with questions about the position or process are encouraged to contact Papp at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mielegalaid.org.
The position is posted in the Classifieds section at www.nhbar.org and under “Jobs” at www.nhla.org.
Tobin says it will be up to his successor whether he continues at NHLA.
“I hope to stay on at NHLA as a staff attorney handling cases three days a week, but I know that my presence in the program may make my successor uncomfortable, so my decision to step down as the ED is not contingent on the part-time plan. I want to keep working for justice, simply at a more measured pace,” Tobin wrote in an email message to colleagues.
Tobin said the timing of his departure will allow the new director some time on the job before a new legislative session, when NHLA’s bid for funding tends to be a challenging lobbying task. “NHLA is much smaller than it should be, but the staff is strong,” Tobin wrote. “And, after 18 years, it will be very healthy for the program to have a new ED, with different strengths, perspectives, and goals.”
Ginny Martin, director of the NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program, reflected on working with Tobin: “I’ve known John since our days at the former NHLA Berlin branch law office, where he led a small group of advocates in making a difference for low-income families in the North Country. During the past 18 years, as head of Pro Bono, I’ve seen John using not only his considerable leadership and legal abilities, but also his amazing fundraising skills, to keep NHLA a vital institution in the face innumerable fiscal and other challenges.”