Expanding opportunities for paralegals

Erin Jasina and Ned Gordon

NHLA paralegal and DVAP director, Erin Jasina, with The Hon. Ned Gordon

New Hampshire has moved toward closing the access to justice gap with a new pilot program – one of the first of its kind in the country – allowing paraprofessionals to represent clients in certain housing, domestic violence, stalking, and family law cases in the Family and District Divisions for Manchester, Franklin, and Berlin.

The Hon. Edward “Ned” Gordon, who saw thousands of self-represented litigants in his time as a Circuit Court judge, championed the program through the Legislature.

“We need to provide legal services to people who have a great need, particularly where there’s children involved, because it can have an enormous impact on their lives,” he said.

NHLA has deployed paraprofessionals like Erin Jasina in a clinic model in family court in Manchester. After she handled the pilot’s first case in Manchester in January 2022, the judge praised her performance.

“She said I did a wonderful job and that she thought this pilot project will help a lot of people in New Hampshire,” said Jasina.

A gift to the Campaign of $1,250 can support one week of the clinic for domestic violence survivors.