The NH Campaign for Legal Services raised $93,000 during its Virtual Campaign Kickoff Breakfast last Thursday morning.

The breakfast was hosted by Campaign Co-Chairs Ovide Lamontagne, shareholder at Bernstein Shur in Manchester and Michael A. Delaney, partner at McLane Middleton.

Hundreds of people around the state and the country tuned in to the livestreamed event to celebrate the legacy of work done by New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA) and the Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC) over the past 50 years.

Current and former NHLA and LARC staff were featured as keynote speakers and shared their experience witnessing and often shaping the history of legal aid in New Hampshire.

LARC founding executive director, Connie Boyles Lane, and NHLA founding executive director, George Bruno, spoke about the early history of legal aid in New Hampshire and the founding of NHLA and LARC. NHLA Housing Project Director, Elliott Berry, and LARC Housing Paralegal, Karen Makocy Philbrick discussed the effectiveness of preventing homelessness through legal aid.

Other speakers included John Tobin, Chelsie Rommel, Erin Jasina, Campbell Harvey, Maria Eveleth, and Lynne Parker, who each discussed the challenges and successes of providing legal aid in the North Country, protecting domestic violence victims, and dismantling barriers to justice.

Deborah Kane Rein, Chair of the LARC board and a retired lawyer and marital master, was presented the John E. Tobin, Jr. Justice Award for her longstanding commitment to access to justice in New Hampshire.

Over the course of her career, Deborah helped create the Civil Practice Clinic at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, served on the boards of both NHLA and LARC, and is overseeing the imminent merger of LARC and the Bar Association’s Pro Bono Referral System into one legal aid program called 603 Legal Aid.

“For Deborah, justice is a calling,” Delaney said. “Her lifelong commitment to the principle of equal justice under the law has inspired her friends and colleagues for many years. Her work has made New Hampshire a better and fairer place. Today we thank Deborah for her career of service and for the extraordinary legacy she has created.”

About the Campaign: Since 2000, the Campaign for Legal Services has brought together New Hampshire’s business, legal and philanthropic communities to prevent homelessness, poverty and abuse in New Hampshire by increasing access to justice for people in need.

Through personal outreach and public events, the Campaign promotes awareness of legal aid’s impact on New Hampshire’s society and economy by preventing homelessness, poverty and domestic violence.