Bar News - July 16, 2014
Lynne Parker Named to Head NHLA
By: Dan Wise
After conducting a nationwide search, New Hampshire Legal Assistance opted to promote from within, selecting Lynne Parker, deputy director of NHLA, to succeed retiring executive director John Tobin.
On Aug. 1, Parker, who has been with NHLA since 1999 and has been deputy director for nine years, replaces Tobin, who retires at 65 after 18 years at NHLA’s helm.
“She knows the organization and its staff exceedingly well,” said James Kerouac, chair of the NHLA Board, in announcing the selection. “Her extensive management experience will greatly benefit NHLA as she assumes this new role.”
Tobin said Parker’s hiring represents “good, healthy change.” Tobin said his own post-retirement plans are undetermined. He said he will not return to NHLA as a staff attorney but he hopes to continue working on access-to-justice issues.
Parker is a career civil legal aid lawyer, with expertise in housing discrimination and language access issues. Raised in Concord, she has a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center (now UNH Law) and worked at Southern Massachusetts Legal Assistance and Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Maine before joining NHLA in 1999.
Continuity is important for the organization in a time when funding is so challenging, said Parker. Her priorities include greater emphasis on expanding the range of services NHLA offers, which she hopes will include more work on legal issues for seniors, access to services for those with language issues, improved coverage for victims of domestic violence, and outreach to veterans with civil legal problems.
Parker said she believes NHLA must strive to hire a more diverse staff. “Diversity will be important. We have to have people on the staff that reflect the population. We must commit to more extensive efforts to diversify our workforce.”
Tobin said he is pleased that NHLA will continue to have “a commitment to both individual cases and the systemic work,” such as lobbying for legislation or pursuing class action litigation to help address legal issues faced by low-income people in New Hampshire.
Tobin Retirement Event
The board and staff of NHLA is hosting a reception to celebrate and thank John Tobin for his lifelong commitment to increasing access to justice for New Hampshire’s poor and elderly.
When: 5-7:30 p.m. (remarks at 6 p.m.), Thursday, July 31
Where: New Hampshire Audubon Society, 84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH.
The event is free, and light refreshments will be served. Due to capacity limitations, an RSVP is required by July 22 via email to email@example.com or by phone at (603) 224-4107.
Contributions in Tobin’s honor can be made to the Campaign for Legal Services online at www.nh-cls.org or by mail to Campaign for Legal Services, 117 North State St., Concord, New Hampshire, 03301.