Bar News - March 16, 2016
Pro Bono Recognizes Rising Stars and Longtime Volunteers
The Pro Bono Referral Program took the opportunity to recognize three “Rising Stars” and other dedicated volunteers at the Honors and Awards Luncheon on March 4 in Manchester, part of the 2016 NH Bar Association Midyear Meeting.
From left, at the 2016 NHBA Midyear Meeting and Professionalism Day: Pam Dodge, DOVE Project coordinator; Janice Rabchenuk, NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program special projects coordinator; Pro Bono Rising Stars Elizabeth LaRochelle, Lissa Mascio, and Bryan Townsend II; and Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award recipients Bryan Clickner, James Shepard, William Boesch, James Mulligan, and Kerry Brothers; NHBA Legal Services Director Ginny Martin; Pro Bono Referral Program Coordinator Carolann Wooding; Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award recipient Aaron H. Simpson; and Pro Bono Administrative Assistant Margaret Gilsenberg. James R. “JR” Davis, not pictured, also received a Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award but could not attend the meeting.
NHBA Legal Services Director Ginny Martin, who leads the Pro Bono program, also used the opportunity to dispel a few myths about taking Pro Bono cases:
MYTH 1 You’ll get a family law case.
Pro Bono refers all kinds of cases, from tax controversies to landlord-tenant, wills and criminal record annulments. Looking to handle a certain kind of case? Check the NHBA e-Bulletin, the Bar’s weekly email newsletter, for descriptions of cases the program is looking to refer.
MYTH 2 You won’t be covered.
Pro Bono provides primary malpractice insurance to all volunteer attorneys.
MYTH 3 Your case, your problem.
When you accept a Pro Bono case, you won’t be left to manage it by yourself. In addition to screening cases, the Pro Bono Referral Program staff organizes mentoring relationships and provides ongoing support and training.
MYTH 4 Pro Bono clients are ungrateful, demanding and depressing.
National research by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has found that the majority of attorneys who represent people of limited means feel a sense of satisfaction.
MYTH 5 You can’t help Pro Bono unless you take a case.
There are lots of ways to work with Pro Bono. You can volunteer for referral marathons, join a panel for a Pro Bono CLE, or mentor newer attorneys working on pro bono cases.