Bar News - May 20, 2015
President's Perspective: Our Shared Values Make NH a Great Place to Practice
By: Lisa Wellman-Ally
One of the great things about being a lawyer in New Hampshire is the great bar we have. I am constantly amazed at the way attorneys are willing to reach out and help each other. I personally have asked on an email list service whether another attorney could cover a plea hearing for me in a specific court. The number of responses I received amazed me.
I see it all the time – attorneys asking for another attorney in a certain court to file a motion, cover a quick hearing, or pull a file. More than one attorney usually responds. It emphasizes one of my continuing themes in these comments, about the quality of the community to which we belong.
The patience we have for each other continues to enhance our practice. It benefits us all when we wait patiently for a court hearing because the attorney for the other side is running late due to an appearance in another court. The continuances we assent to because another attorney has a conflict show professional courtesy. When we agree to extensions of time to file responsive pleadings or motions due to circumstances for other attorneys, we reaffirm the shared values of law practitioners in New Hampshire. Even when we cannot assent to such requests, due to the nature of the hearing or the needs of our clients, we do so with dignity and respect.
I love it when I see experienced attorneys whispering advice to newer attorneys about a judge’s procedures or quirks. It’s good to see veteran lawyers providing constructive criticism or praise to newer lawyers after a hearing. We often do these things without even thinking about them, and they make it better to practice law here.
In an earlier article, I talked about our duty to the profession to mentor newer attorneys. I have really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to mentor other attorneys. I think I have learned as much from them as they have from me. It is always refreshing to get a new perspective, and sharing my knowledge benefits my practice and the profession as a whole.
For those experienced attorneys who have not become involved in mentoring younger lawyers, I encourage you to contact the NH Bar Association Mentoring Program, which currently has a wait list of new practitioners looking to be matched with seasoned lawyer mentors in various locations across the state.
Being president of the NH Bar Association has given me the opportunity to travel around the country and attend many ABA meetings. I am always so proud of the outstanding reputation that New Hampshire has earned across the country, both for the programs and services we offer, and for the great staff we employ. Previous presidents of the NHBA are well-known and respected by their colleagues, and I am proud to be among them.
So, I just want to shout a big “Thank you!” to the entire New Hampshire bar for making this such a great place to practice. I have been proud to be your president.