“Do Good As You Do Well”: Bruce Friedman Pro Bono Award Presented to Marilyn McNamara JD ’77
The inaugural Bruce E. Friedman Pro Bono Award was presented yesterday to Marilyn Billings McNamara JD ’77.
The award, sponsored by the UNH Law Social Justice Institute and the New Hampshire Bar Association, honors the accomplishments of a UNH Law graduate and NH Bar member who exemplifies the commitment to public service of Bruce Friedman, the late founder of the civil practice clinic at the law school and a legend in the world of civil legal services in New Hampshire.
McNamara is a domestic relations lawyer with thirty-five years of experience in all aspects of the field. Following graduation from UNH Law, she co-founded the school’s Family and Housing Law Clinic and served as co-director and instructor for the clinic’s first year. She then developed a statewide family law practice based in Lebanon, NH, followed by eight years as the executive director of the Legal Advice and Referral Center, a Concord-based federally funded poverty law program. She is an adjunct faculty member for the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program at UNH Law and is a past president of the New Hampshire Bar Association.
In accepting the award, McNamara said, “the spotlight should not be on me, but on those who need our services.” She described how her years of pro bono work have been their own reward, especially in the ways that her clients have enriched her life.
Professor Chuck Temple, the director of UNH Law’s Criminal Practice Clinic, introduced the award by describing his friend and mentor, Bruce Friedman, as a man who “fought the fight for his clients,” and who aspired, in his teaching, to be “comprehensible, comic, and cosmic.”
The ceremony included New Hampshire’s Chief Justice Linda Stewart Dalianis discussing the role of pro bono in addressing New Hampshire’s unmet legal needs, which she called “a crisis of injustice.” With only a fraction of legal needs being met, and a steady rise in the number of pro se litigants, Dalianis said that lawyers have an ethical obligation to solve this crisis.
UNH Law’s celebration of pro bono continues over the coming weeks, with the Kenison Lecture, by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson of Texas, on October 25, and the Stahl Lecture, by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of New York, on November 8.
Pictured at top (left to right): Ginny Martin, NH Bar Association associate executive director for legal services, UNH Law Dean John Broderick, Marilyn McNamara JD '77, Linda Stewart Dalianis, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, and Professor Erin Corcoran, Director of UNH Law's Social Justice Institute.