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Bar News - January 18, 2017

Bar Center Adds Video Conference Capability

“Participation in Bar Center meetings is now more convenient for attorneys all around the state,” NHBA Executive Director Jeannine McCoy said recently, referring to the New Hampshire Bar Association’s installation of a new video conferencing system in the third-floor conference room at the Bar Center.

This development was the culmination of a yearlong process to research association needs and available systems. The guiding principles in selecting the hardware and software were ease of use, minimal equipment requirements for members, and a platform that does not require significant staff support, all at a reasonable cost to the association.

GoToMeeting, the software system selected, enables members to participate in meetings from anywhere using various technology platforms; laptop, smartphone, tablet or landline telephone. Meeting attendees receive an email invitation from the meeting organizer that includes links to join via computing device as well as a phone number to join via landline or mobile phone. One does not need to have a built-in camera on their device to participate in a meeting; if they do, they can choose whether or not to use it. The system also enables file-sharing during meetings.

NHBA Executive Assistant Deborah Hawkins, who led the study and installation process, noted that the quality of the video conference experience is dependent on the quality and reliability of the attendee’s internet connection. For best audio quality, she said, it is best to use headphones/earbuds and microphones, rather than speakers. Additional user resources for GoToMeeting can be found at online.

Members who have used the system have commented that this experience is far superior to the old method of participating by telephone only. Bar staff are training on the system. Meeting notices will soon note whether video participation is possible.

Early reaction has been favorable, with members testing the system noting that the instructions are clear, the access is easy and the connections are good.

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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