New leaders join legal aid programs

In 2024, NH Legal Assistance, 603 Legal Aid and the Campaign for Legal Services welcomed new leaders to our boards and Leadership Council. 

Campaign Leadership Council 

Justice Gary E. Hicks and Campaign Leadership Council Chair Megan Hilson served as the prize ceremony emcees at the 2023 Quid Pro Bono Golf Tournament. Hicks has now joined the Campaign’s Leadership Council to raise support for and awareness of legal aid in New Hampshire

The Honorable Gary E. Hicks, retired

Robert Dietel, Gallagher Callahan & Gartrell

David McGrath, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green

Courtney Tanner, Dartmouth Health

NH Legal Assistance

Ophelia Burnett, American Friends Service Committee

Hilary Holmes Rheaume, Bernstein Shur

Abbygale Martinen, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green

603 Legal Aid

Kevin Collimore, Cullen Collimore Shirley

Diane Dow, Manchester, NH

Lyndsay Robinson, Shaheen & Gordon

603 Legal Aid welcomes new Executive Director 

In November, 603 Legal Aid welcomed new Executive Director Ariel Clemmer! Prior to joining 603 Legal Aid, she was Director of the Center for Social Justice at Western New England University School of Law, where she created and oversaw a number of free civil legal aid initiatives.

“I am thrilled to join the exceptional team at 603 Legal Aid. What attracted me most is the organization’s unwavering dedication to making access to justice a reality for, and with, Granite Staters in need. I am also incredibly excited to be returning home to New Hampshire and to be able to raise my family in the region where I grew up,” Clemmer said.

“603 Legal Aid is headed for a bright and impactful future building on its impressive track record of tirelessly advocating for those who face civil legal challenges that threaten their basic human needs. I see immense potential in the organization’s ability to continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those it serves across the state, many of whom have faced pervasive, unjust discrimination and systemic barriers to success, simply as a result of being poor.

“My passion lies in empowering others and consistently pushing for social change. Civil legal aid is about more than advice or representation; this work often requires a holistic understanding of the entirety of factors that led the person to be involved in the justice system in the first place. Rarely are individuals facing a singular issue or remedy. Instead, to truly be effective, we must use multi-dimensional approaches and innovative thinking to both reveal the underlying root causes and make progress on a path towards equity and justice for all.”

“Ariel is an experienced innovator in the pro bono world and has demonstrated a strong commitment to access to justice for people who would otherwise not be able to afford legal counsel or representation,” said Board Chair Melinda Gehris. “She brings with her a legacy of successful fundraising, cooperation with corporate and institutional funders, and managing programs through growth and transformation. The board is eager to support Ariel and the staff as they leverage technology, innovation, and momentum to expand access to justice in New Hampshire. We know our core Pro Bono supporters in the Bar will be inspired by her, too. We look forward to her role with us as a powerful ambassador for civil legal aid and the power of access to justice.”

Prior to running the Center for Social Justice at Western New England University School of Law, Clemmer served as the Pro Bono Director of the Hampden County Bar Association directing the award-winning Hampden County Legal Clinic, and worked as a litigator for seven years in New York City, including as a public defender with the Bronx Defenders, a family law associate, and an associate at one of the largest law firms in the world.

Clemmer obtained her juris doctorate cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010, a Master of Arts in early childhood education from Pace University in 2007, and a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from the University of Richmond in 2005.