The Campaign supports the Legal Advice & Referral Center and New Hampshire Legal Assistance, which are overseen by a joint board of directors. Together, the two programs help nearly 14,000 New Hampshire residents each year.
New Hampshire Legal Assistance was founded in 1971 through the merger of two smaller non-profit legal aid organizations, Southern New Hampshire Legal Services and Tri-County Legal Services, which served the North Country. Since then, NHLA has grown into a nationally recognized legal aid program with five branch law offices with almost 30 staff members.
NHLA attorneys and paralegals provide advice and counsel and represent low-income and elderly clients in all levels of state and federal court, and in front of many government agencies, helping them with civil, non-criminal cases dealing with housing, benefits, family law and employment security.
While much of NHLA’s work focuses on representing individual clients, NHLA also advocates changes to policies and practices that adversely affect large numbers of low-income or elderly New Hampshire residents through class action law suits and non-partisan political advocacy.
NHLA also provides extensive outreach and training to the low-income community, social service providers, and the private bar. Click here to visit NHLA’s website.
In 1996, after the federal government dramatically reduced and restricted funding for civil legal aid organizations. Rather than abandoning systemic advocacy and other efforts now restricted, New Hampshire’s legal aid community created the Legal Advice & Referral Center (LARC), which serves residents within the new federal guidelines.
Based in Concord with 16 staff members, LARC provides toll-free telephone access to information, legal advice, and assistance in both English and Spanish for litigants who will represent themselves in court and in front of state and federal agencies.
The majority of LARC clients have questions about housing and family law, including preventing imminent evictions and foreclosures and escaping abusive relationships.
In 2014, the LARC hotline received an average of 300 calls per day. After an in-take interview about a potential client’s legal problem, LARC staff provide legal advice and ongoing support. In some cases, LARC attorneys and paralegals advocate on behalf of clients with the adverse party. In other cases, LARC staff refer some cases to NHLA and the N.H. Bar Association’s Pro Bono Program for further help, and in many cases advocate on behalf of clients.
In addition to the call center, LARC also maintains a comprehensive website with self-help guides and materials in many areas of the law, and produces and distributes pamphlets on various topics. Through these efforts, LARC works to educate pro se litigants representing themselves in court of the process and their rights.
In 2014, nearly 86,000 individuals visited the LARC website. Click here to visit LARC’s website.