Tragic cases, don’t have to be tragedies

– Kirk Simoneau speaks about the simple theme of service in the DOVE community while receiving the 2018 Bruce E. Friedman Pro Bono Award

Tragic these (DOVE) cases are tragic… but they don’t have to be tragedies… if you get involved… if you join the circle of service that you have been hearing so much about here, you can turn these tragedies into something else…the circle (of service) grows bigger –  the tragedies grow smaller… everyone one in this room… whether you are  a lawyer or not, is capable of seeing the tragedy, of seeing the moments and stepping up and doing something.”

Walk A Mile in Her Shoes

On October 2 , 400 participants, including NHBA Pro Bono team,  “walked a mile in her shoes” to recognize the difficult path taken to leave domestic violence behind. Over $40,000 was raised to benefit the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire. NHBA Pro Bono staff and volunteer attorneys participated to help raise awareness and funds for this important issue.

DOVE Attorney Training and Mock Trial

Pro Bono’s DOVE Project offered all-day training seminar to recruit and train volunteer lawyers.  Seven faculty  presented Justice for Victims/Survivors: Their Protection, Your Privilege to  37 DOVE attendees.  The seminar featured a discussion panel of professionals who work with the domestic violence victim population, “tips from the bench” from Hon. Charles L. Greenhalgh, and a thought-provoking mock final protective order hearing. Both sessions are available on DVD for anyone who was unable to attend.

UNH Law Referral Marathon

UNH Law students participated in a day long phone-a-thon for the NH Pro Bono Referral Service. They called UNH Law Alumni and other local Pro Bono attorneys to link vulnerable clients in need of free legal assistance.  October 25 was a day of service that honored the legacy of Bruce Friedman.  Currently 15 client referrals have been made, with attorneys still volunteering to take cases as they work through their voicemail.

A Night of Remembrance

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month, The Greater Manchester Council Against Domestic & Sexual Violence and YWCA New Hampshire held the 3rd Annual Night of Remembrance. It was an evening honoring lives lost due to domestic violence over the past decade. This event featured a panel, including Pam Dodge, to highlight the holistic approach used to serve the practical, emotional, and civil legal needs of victims/survivors of domestic violence. The program closed with a candlelight vigil song authored and performed by Barbara Heggie specifically for this event.

North Country Veteran’s Conference

Barbara Heggie attended the bi-annual North County Veterans Conference. Her goal was to reach out to veterans and those who serve veterans and shared information about the NHBA’s Pro Bono programs that could serve this specific population.

This year’s outreach included information about the DOVE program and the NH Pro Bono Referral Program’s Low Income Taxpayer Project which is reaching out to veterans  as part of a national effort to spread awareness of tax refunds available to certain veterans under the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016.

Spreading DOVE’s Mission Globally

Working with the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, Pam Dodge, Domestic Violence Project Coordinator, and  Virginia Martin, Executive Director of Legal Services, recently hosted several meetings for anti-domestic violence professionals from India and the middle east. The participants were engaged and eager to apply many of the DOVE activities and protocols to their own agencies upon returning home.

This partnership with the World Affairs Council will continue as an similar events will be held with a variety of international  anti-domestic violence professionals.