On Thursday, October 11th, 2018, we held our 21st Annual Fall Reception at the Concord Country Club in Concord, New Hampshire. The event was attended by distinguished attorneys and members of the judiciary from across the Granite State.
At the reception, the 2018 Marilla M. Ricker Achievement Award, named in honor of Marilla M. Ricker, the first woman to apply for admission to the New Hampshire Bar, was presented to Attorney Catherine E. Shanelaris. She is a founding member and partner at the successful all-female firm Shanelaris & Schirch in Nashua, which specializes in family law.
Her many nominators wrote of her with clear warmth, appreciation, and admiration. She was described as "a pillar in the legal community", a "mentor for a multitude of female attorneys", and someone who "exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism, from integrity, good judgement, and civility to her deep and abiding dedication to the provision of free legal assistance to the vulnerable and needy."
In her remarks, Attorney Shanelaris aimed to inspire her audience. “As attorneys we have extraordinary power, the power of all the great knowledge and experience we have. People come to us, pay us for us to impart our knowledge to them, to assist them in helping them through the most difficult time in their lives. When we are presented with the opportunity, and we should all use our power for good.”
In addition, we presented the Winnie McLaughlin scholarship for 2018-2019 to Kirsten J. Allen, a student at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. The scholarship is a joint venture of the NHWBA and the law school, named after the first woman admitted to practice law in New Hampshire. It is awarded annually to a second-year law student who has demonstrated academic achievement and has performed community service focused on advancing women.
Allen has interned with the New Hampshire Women's Foundation as well as with Have Justice Will Travel, which provides free legal services for victims of domestic abuse in Vermont. She is an Executive Board Member for the Domestic and Sexual Violence Project at UNH Law, where she is pursuing the Health Law and Policy Certificate.