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Bar News - August 20, 2014

Participation Makes NHBA Sections Thrive

There are 22 substantive law sections of the NH Bar Association and each operates in a different way. Most sections provide value for members through regular gatherings, either informal exchanges or more formal programs offering NHMCLE credit for participants. Some sections regularly produce reference material, such as the NH Title Examination Standards, updated annually by the NHBA Real Property Law Section.

The section calendar from June 2013 to June 2014 included 74 meetings or events, 10 for CLE credit. While 51 meetings were held at the NH Bar Center, several sections also held social gatherings at restaurants around the state, at various law firms, and at a Fisher Cats baseball game.

Virtual interchange is a major factor in section value for four of the largest sections. Email list-serves provide almost-daily interaction and exchange for those members that choose to participate. Even in the summer, these sections’ members continue to support and advise each other.

Since January 2014, for example, there have been:
  • 1,335 posts on Family Law Section listserve on 396 topics.
  • 933 posts on Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate Section listserve on 275 topics.
  • 833 posts on Real Property Law Section listserve on 211 topics.
  • 166 posts on Municipal & Governmental Law Section listserve on 38 topics.
The statistics actually understate the extent to which members help each other. In addition to posting on the list, some members respond individually to their colleagues via email or by phone.

After one exchange of useful information on the Real Property Law listserve that included postings and phone calls, one member publicly thanked several individual lawyers and added, “... love the practice, our section and our Bar... always running across new things and folks willing to assist. We are a lucky bunch of lawyers. Thanks again, I truly appreciate the assistance.”

Please note: Participation on the listserves is a benefit of section membership. Members who have not yet renewed their section memberships are encouraged to do so before Sept. 1. After that date, those who have not renewed will be unsubscribed from the listserves.

Separate from the listserves, section members receive meeting notices and other information via email; receiving emails and participating in the listserve are optional.
Profile of Leadership
With the recent round of section officer elections nearly complete, Section Connection compiled a demographic profile of the section leaders (chair/co-chair, vice chair and clerk positions). It shows that newer lawyers are taking an increasingly active role in section leadership. Also, while small and solo firm lawyers, which represent the majority of the Bar membership, are underrepresented, they still comprise a large share of the officer positions. Here’s a demographic breakdown:
  • Men: 63%
  • Women: 37%
  • Average Age: 43
Lawyers from the state’s two most populous counties, Hillsborough and Rockingham, account for 57 percent of the leaders; Merrimack County accounts for 31 percent; and 6 percent are from Massachusetts.

Attorneys from large firms account for 41 percent of the section leaders; in-house counsel and government attorneys account for 12 percent combined; and 45 percent of the attorneys come from mid-size or small firms.

One in three section leaders has been in practice in New Hampshire for five years or less; another 29 percent have been in practice here six to 10 years. Clearly, members new to the practice are encouraged to step up and are welcomed to get involved in section leadership.
Criminal Law Issues in the Workplace
The Labor & Employment Law Section is the first to offer a section-sponsored CLE program this fall, featuring a program on the intersection of criminal law and employment law.

There is no cost to attend, but Section members should register by contacting NHBA Registrar Cheryl Moore at or 603-715-3260.
When: 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23
Where: NH Bar Center Seminar Room, 2 Pillsbury St., Lower Level, Concord, NH
Speakers: Anna Peterson, Devine Millimet & Branch, Manchester; Andrew Schulman, Getman, Schulthess & Steere, Manchester
NHMCLE does not approve or accredit CLE activities for the NH Minimum CLE requirement. The provider believes this course meets the requirements of NH Supreme Court Rule 53 and may qualify for 90 minutes toward the annual NHMCLE requirement.
Contact the NHBA Sections Coordinator at or 603-715-3257.

Visit and look on the right-hand side of the home page for highlights of upcoming events or join an NHBA Section and receive announcements directly. Find more information about sections in the For Members area of the NH Bar Association website.

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