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Bar News - June 18, 2014

New Lawyer Column: Join Us for Dinner with a Judge


Clara Lyons
Part of the New Lawyers Committee’s mission is to help newer lawyers get acclimated to New Hampshire’s legal community, and a new program called “Dinner with a Judge” is meant to help us achieve that goal.

The committee has organized two dinners so far. In March, Judge Landya McCafferty, of the US District Court, attended a dinner in Portsmouth. A second dinner took place in April, in Concord, with Judge Jacalyn Colburn of the New Hampshire Superior Court.

The dinners are meant to be intimate to give participants ample opportunity to join in the conversation and get meaningful time with the judge. The dinners not only give attendees the chance to ask the judge for tips or advice, but also give newer lawyers a chance to get to know the judge on a personal level.

At the March dinner, Judge McCafferty gave invaluable advice about how to effectively communicate with a jury and shared stories from her time as a public defender. At the April dinner, Judge Colburn gave practice tips and suggestions about how to manage work-life balance.

As a committee representative who attended the March dinner, I found that an added benefit of the program is the excellent networking opportunity. I met a mix of lawyers from a wide variety of backgrounds that I likely would not otherwise have come across.

The attendees at the March dinner included more experienced lawyers from other states who had recently become licensed in New Hampshire, brand new lawyers who have been practicing less than a year, and lawyers who have been practicing for a few years. A wide variety of practice areas were represented, including family law, insurance defense, plaintiff’s work, employment law, and IP. The attendees at the April dinner came from similarly diverse backgrounds.

The committee is planning additional dinners with the hope of having one every few months in various locations throughout the state, so that newer lawyers have an opportunity to participate no matter where they practice. The committee will announce upcoming dinners via the new lawyers list serve as they are scheduled.

I encourage any interested new lawyers to take advantage of this program. Please feel free to contact committee representative Elizabeth Lahey at with questions. We also welcome any judges who are interested in attending a dinner as the guest of honor to get in touch with the committee.

Clara E. Lyons is an associate at Getman, Schulthess & Steere in Manchester. Her practice is primarily focused on civil litigation. She is a member of the NHBA New Lawyers Committee.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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