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Bar News - August 17, 2016

Get Ready: October is Pro Bono Month in NH

Opportunities Abound to Get Involved and Help Recognize the Work of Volunteer Lawyers

Pro Bono Month, which takes place every October in New Hampshire, is a time to consider the plight of those less fortunate who need, yet cannot afford, legal assistance, as well as to celebrate the generosity and hard work of Pro Bono volunteer attorneys.

The ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service inaugurated a National Celebration of Pro Bono in 2009, at the height of the economic crisis, calling for an annual weeklong series of events and initiatives that would highlight the contributions of Pro Bono lawyers to improving access to justice and the lives of fellow citizens. The New Hampshire Pro Bono Referral Program participated enthusiastically each year, but soon decided that one week was not enough to celebrate the work of its dedicated volunteers and to spread the message about Pro Bono. In 2012, then-Governor John Lynch signed the first proclamation designating October as Pro Bono Month.

From left: Diane Levesque, Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator at the Manchester VA Medical Center; Manchester attorney, vet advocate and past NHBA President Larry Vogelman; and Janice Rabchenuk, of the NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program; are seen here during the 2015 Veterans Stand Down event at Harbor Homes in Nashua.

This year, ABA President-elect Linda Klein is urging service to veterans as part of her Veterans Legal Services Initiative. The New Hampshire Pro Bono Program has been participating in an annual “Veterans Stand Down” clinic at Harbor Homes in Nashua for the past two years and will do so again on Thursday, Sept. 22. Volunteers are needed to meet with veterans in a clinic setting, one-on-one, to give legal advice on a variety of issues. Please call Margaret at (603) 715-3203 for more information.

The Foreclosure Relief Project’s fall litigation seminar will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, and will include two mock jury deliberations along with presentations by experienced New Hampshire litigators. Details.

A preliminary list of activities for this October includes attorney trainings in debt collection/consumer issues, landlord/tenant law, and domestic violence through the DOVE Project, along with the annual Bruce Friedman Award Reception, held at the UNH School of Law. UNH students and faculty will help refer Pro Bono cases during the day and the award will be announced at an evening reception.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Pro Bono staff and volunteer attorneys will be walking in the annual “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” fundraiser to raise awareness about domestic violence and funds for the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire. Contact Pro Bono for information about joining the team or making a donation.

Please look for more information about Pro Bono Month 2016 in the weekly NHBA e-Bulletin newsletter, in next month’s Bar News, and online at the bar’s website.

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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