Bar News - October 18, 2017
Event Marks 25 Years of Free Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
THE DOVE PROJECT, part of the Pro Bono Referral Program at the NH Bar Association, celebrated its 25th anniversary Sept. 12 at the Manchester Country Club.
Pro Bono Director Virginia Martin emceed the event, which was attended by DOVE volunteers, crisis center advocates, donors, legal service partners, and members of the judiciary.
Former US Vice President Joseph Biden wrote a congratulatory letter, which was read aloud by Circuit Court Judge Susan Carbon, former director of the US Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. Biden extended his gratitude to the hundreds of New Hampshire lawyers and their support staffs for answering the call – often a last-minute call – to represent victims of domestic violence who have bravely taken action to escape their abusers. He also applauded the NH Bar Foundation for providing key financial support to the DOVE Project and other civil legal services efforts through the IOLTA Grants Program.
Associate NH Supreme Court Justice Anna Hantz Marconi spoke about her experience as a former DOVE volunteer, encouraging attorneys to get involved. She took DOVE Project Coordinator Pamela Dodge by surprise when she honored Dodge for 18 years of contributions to the project.
In his remarks, Manchester attorney Kirk Simoneau also urged members of the Bar to join DOVE to make a difference for victims of domestic violence.
The event was made possible by contributions from Deborah McKinnon, wife of John McKinnon, a dedicated Pro Bono volunteer until his unexpected death two years ago, and the Centennial Celebration Committee.
Touted as a national model, the DOVE Project works with domestic violence crisis shelters across the state to provide legal representation at emergency restraining order hearings.