Bar News - July 16, 2014
Campaign for Legal Services Continuing to Build on Successes
By: James Kerouac
The New Hampshire Bar Association recently notified the Campaign for Legal Services that the Bar Association Board of Governors has decided to withdraw the Pro Bono Referral Program (Pro Bono) from the Campaign’s joint fundraising initiative. Representatives from the other two Campaign partners, New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA) and the Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC), were notified June 9, 2014, of the Bar Association’s decision not to participate in joint efforts to raise private funds to support New Hampshire’s civil legal services program after Dec. 31, 2014.
Notwithstanding this decision by the Bar, the Campaign will continue to build on recent successes securing more contributions to benefit LARC and NHLA as the two programs work to provide critical, life-changing legal services to New Hampshire’s disadvantaged and elderly. Thanks to remarkable leadership from recent Campaign Chairs Justice John Broderick and Gordon MacDonald, as well as previous NHLA/LARC Board Chairs John Funk and Mark Rouvalis, the Campaign for Legal Services has achieved tremendous growth in recent years. The Campaign will build on this momentum and success to support more access to civil legal aid in our state.
The demand for legal services in New Hampshire continues to be great, with less than 10 percent of those needing services getting the help they need due to a lack of resources. The Campaign for Legal Services will continue to raise critical private support and advance new fundraising approaches in order to help more clients and families deal with life-changing legal challenges.
Despite this unforeseen change in the joint fundraising efforts of the Campaign, NHLA, LARC, and Pro Bono will continue to work together in operating a coordinated, comprehensive system of legal services for low-income people across the Granite State, including, seniors, veterans, and families. The three organizations have a long history of working together to make the most of limited resources to help more clients with life’s basic needs including housing, personal safety, access to health care, and subsistence income. The three programs currently collaborate extensively on a variety of efforts for serving clients, including the New Hampshire Foreclosure Relief Project and I am confident that they will continue to do so.
The Campaign is extremely grateful for the hundreds of Campaign donors and volunteers who steadfastly support New Hampshire’s legal aid programs. We deeply value your support and continued investment. We look forward to working with you as we utilize this opportunity to transition the Campaign for Legal Services in a way that builds on our recent initiatives to increase private support for NHLA and LARC.
We appreciate the continued involvement and investments in the Campaign by New Hampshire’s legal community.
James Kerouac is an attorney at Wadleigh, Starr & Peters and chair of the Joint Boards of New Hampshire Legal Assistance and Legal Advice and Referral Center.