History & Purpose

History and Purpose of NHLAP

In 2007 the New Hampshire Supreme Court created the New Hampshire Lawyers Assistance Program. The program is the culmination of over 20 years of commitment in New Hampshire by two separate lawyer organizations, the Lawyers Assistance Committee of the New Hampshire Bar Association (LAC), and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL), a 12-step based self-help group for lawyers. By 2000, most states had formalized programs, known as Lawyers Assistance Programs (LAPs), to assist attorneys in their states. The attributes of LAPs include confidentiality, outreach, and increased follow-through and support for struggling lawyers. With confidentiality, programs have seen a marked increase in attorneys seeking, obtaining, and continuing with needed assistance. The ABA established the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) to provide support and resources for the Programs developed in  each state.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court formalized the NHLAP with the passage of Rule 58 in 2007. Chief Justice John Broderick, whose family had experienced the challenge of mental illness, championed a program that would provide confidential support and assistance to New Hampshire lawyers. Under Justice Broderick’s leadership, the Court appointed the governing Commission of the NHLAP, now the Board of Directors. Judge John Maher, founder of LCL in New Hampshire, was named Chair. Attorney John Tobin, head of the the former LAC of the NH Bar, was named Vice Chair. In January 2018, Terri Harrington was hired as its second executive director.

Terri Harrington is a graduate of UNH School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center).  Her legal career includes serving as the Alternative Court Prosecutor for Drug Court, Veteran Court, and Mental Health Court for the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office in Brentwood, NH, the Domestic Violence Unit Director for the York County District Attorney’s office in Alfred, ME and as a solo practitioner concentrating in criminal defense.  Attorney Harrington serves as a volunteer board member for SATYA (Seacoast Area Teachers of Yoga in Action) which brings yoga to underserved populations.  Attorney Harrington gratefully welcomes this opportunity to assist lawyers through the NHLAP.