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SHERO CAMPAIGN

In celebration of NHWBA's 20th Anniversary in 2018, we unveiled our SHERO Campaign to honor the women heroes of our members and friends.

On May 15, 2019, we held a SHERO Celebration to show our appreciation of these women. They are admired by their peers and colleagues and are role models who were recognized with a donation in their honor.

The full SHERO list is below. Click on a name to read more about each SHERO.

SHERO Biographies:

In Memory of Nancy L. Ball - Formerly of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.

Nancy Ball began private practice in 1986, after completing a NH Superior Court clerkship. Nancy litigated divorce, family, personal injury, and civil cases. For many years, she served as a Guardian ad litem in family and criminal cases and represented juveniles in abuse and neglect, CHINS and delinquency cases. Nancy joined Shaheen and Gordon in 2002, where she practiced family law. Nancy received the 2009 NH Bar Association Family Law Civility and Courtesy Award in recognition by her peers and colleagues of her compassionate representation of and advocacy for her clients, knowledge of the law and professionalism in working with opposing counsel and parties to resolve difficult family law matters. Throughout her career, Nancy was active in non-profit organizations.


Eva H. Bleich - Abramson, Brown & Dugan

Eva Bleich is an attorney at Abramson, Brown & Dugan. Prior to her career as a lawyer, Eva worked for 10 years as a registered nurse caring for 300 profoundly brain damaged children. When she left nursing, she went to law school and worked at a firm in Philadelphia for twenty years before moving to NH in 2003. Eva continued to work with her Philadelphia firm, where she was the first and, to date, the only female partner in this forty-person firm, until 2008 when she joined Abramson, Brown & Dugan.

SUPERPOWER: “Knowing in real time how great the people that I work with really are and one of those people is Holly Haines, who is also being honored as she should be.”


Alexandra T. Breed - McLane Middleton

Alexandra Breed is a director in McLane Middleton’s trusts and estates department. She counsels individuals and families regarding advanced wealth preservation and transfer techniques. She is a frequent speaker and author on the use of conservation easements in estate planning.

Alexandra is recognized in Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in American for Trusts & Estates law and Real Estate Law. In addition, she has been recognized by Best Lawyers and New England Super Lawyers. She was named to the “Top Attorneys in NH” by New Hampshire Magazine, she was Concord’s Lawyer of the Year in Real Estate in 2013, and she was named the 2013 Five Star Wealth Manager by Five Star Professional.

SUPERPOWERS: “My ‘super powers’ consist of an equal amount of: listening energetically, empathizing deeply, and responding thoughtfully, all with a dash of humor.”


Vera B. Buck - Bernstein Shur

Vera Buck is a member of Bernstein Shur’s Trusts & Estate Practice Group. Vera’s interest in and study of tax—and, prior to law school, mathematics—provided the ideal foundation for a legal career devoted to estate planning, probate and trust administration, and tax-related matters. When Vera isn’t working, she is using her expertise to help others.

She serves as a trustee on several charitable boards. As part of her pro bono practice, she has drafted estate planning documents for United States marines preparing for overseas deployment. She also presents informal estate planning seminars. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family and friends, golfing in near and far-off places, honing her cooking skills, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzles.

SUPERPOWER: "My sense of urgency."


Heather M. Burns - Upton & Hatfield LLP

Heather M. Burns is a partner with Upton & Hatfield, LLP in Concord. Her practice involves primarily medical malpractice and employment litigation. Heather received her undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord. She is past Chair and a current member of the Labor & Employment Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association, a member of both the national and New Hampshire chapters of the National Employment Lawyers Association, and Past President of the New Hampshire Association for Justice. Heather is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She is also a member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association and the Gender Equality Committee of the New Hampshire Bar Association. She volunteers as a mediator for the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission mediation program.

SUPERPOWER: “My deep empathy and compassion for my clients.”


Ashley B. Campbell - McLane Middleton

Ashley Campbell clerked with the New Hampshire Superior Court after she graduated from law school. After her clerkship, Ashley worked for Cronin, Bisson, Zalinsky, PC, before joining her present firm, McLane Middleton. At McLane, Ashley focuses primarily on litigation, as well as administrative law.

Ashley is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Webster House and Girls on the Run. Since 2014, Ashley has coached the Central High School mock trial team. Ashley loves to run, is outdoorsy, and loves dogs.

SUPERPOWERS: “My professional super power would be my ability to research esoteric areas of law and to manage highly complex matters. My personal super power is to always do the things that people think are too hard to be done.” Ashley is currently training for a 100-mile trail race!


Judge Susan B. Carbon - 9th Circuit Court - Family Division

Susan B. Carbon is the Presiding Judge of the 9th Circuit Family Division in Manchester, NH. Originally appointed in 1990, she served until 2010 when she was appointed by President Obama to be Director of the Office on Violence Against Women at the United States Department of Justice. Upon her return to New Hampshire, she was reappointed to the Court. Judge Carbon has served on many domestic violence and child protection initiatives at the state and national level. She served for many years on the Governor’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. She also led the creation of New Hampshire’s Fatality Review Committee and served as its chair for seven years. Judge Carbon is Past President of both the New Hampshire Bar Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

SUPERPOWER: “Picking amazing interns who become even more amazing attorneys and human beings. They make me very proud and humble. They are our future.” Also, “I now have a bionic wrist!”


Dean Megan M. Carpenter - UNH School of Law

Megan Carpenter is Dean of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law. She is the first woman to lead the law school. Dean Carpenter is a legal scholar and thought-leader in legal education. She has extensive experience in institution-building; her talent for driving initiatives from concept to execution has helped to establish innovative programs across the United States. Most recently she has led creation of the Hybrid JD in Intellectual Property, Technology, and Information Law, the first ABA-approved hybrid program in a specific area of the law. A hallmark of her leadership is a collaborative and student-centered approach.

SUPERPOWER: 1980s song lyrics.


Judge Jacalyn A. Colburn - Hillsborough County Superior Court-South

Judge Colburn was appointed to the New Hampshire Superior Court bench in 2009 and presently sits as the supervisory judge in Hillsborough County -Southern District. Judge Colburn also presides over the Hillsborough County Adult Drug Court. She is a 1982 graduate of the University Of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 1996, she received her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and began her legal career as a staff attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender. In 1998 she became the Managing Attorney of the Public Defender’s Merrimack County office, and in 2000 she was named statewide Director of Legal Services. In addition to representing indigent clients in criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to homicides, she was responsible for the administration of 10 trial offices, and the supervision of over 100 attorneys.

SUPERPOWER: “Her confidence. No one, and nothing, ever frazzles her. She is not afraid to speak, and when she does everyone listens. Her confidence demands respect.” – A nominator.


Justice Carol A. Conboy - Retired from N.H. Supreme Court 

Honorable Carol Ann Conboy, retired Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Connecticut, who served as an officer in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. She received her law degree in 1978 from the Franklin Pierce Law Center (now, the University of New Hampshire School of Law), after which she clerked for Judge Shane Devine, the former Chief Judge of the New Hampshire Federal District Court. She was a partner in the New Hampshire law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton (now, McLane Middleton) and practiced as a trial lawyer with a concentration in employment law. She was appointed to the New Hampshire Superior Court in 1992, and during her seventeen years on that court, she served as Supervisory Justice in Merrimack County and Chair of the Superior Court Sentence Review Board. She also chaired the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. In 2009, Governor John Lynch appointed her to the Supreme Court. Prior to her retirement in 2017, she served as Chair of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Performance Evaluation. Justice Conboy continues to serve as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the UNH School of Law.

SUPERPOWER: “The drive to see that which resists being seen—granted to me, of course, by my mother.”


Doreen F. Connor - Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC

Doreen F. Connor is a shareholder with Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer in Manchester, NH where she is a trial and appellate litigator. During her 33-year career, she has handled more than 190 appeals before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel. Doreen is listed in Best Lawyers and New England Super Lawyers for appellate and trial work. She has been on the NH Board of Bar Examiners and Henniker Zoning Board of Adjustment for 25 years and currently chairs the ZBA. She chairs the NH Supreme Court Society and serves on multiple non-profit boards including the Pats Peak Educational Foundation, White Mountain Regional Pony Club and Henniker Cemetery Association.

SUPERPOWER: “Perseverance.”


In Memory of Deborah Jones Cooper - Former N.H. Deputy Attorney General

Deborah Jones Cooper served as a New Hampshire assistant attorney general from 1978 to 1981. In 1981, at the age of 29, Governor Gallen appointed her as New Hampshire’s Deputy Attorney General, the first woman and the youngest person ever to hold the position. In 1983, Debbie left the Attorney General’s office to work as an attorney at Daschbach, Cooper, Hotchkiss & Csatari in Lebanon. A graduate of Lebanon High School, Wellesley College and Boston University School of Law, Debbie was proud to return to her Lebanon roots, as her father, Robert A. Jones, her brother, Douglas A. Jones, and grandfather were all attorneys in Lebanon. Debbie was a dedicated public servant, an outstanding lawyer, a dear friend, a devoted spouse, and a loving and attentive mother to her children, Tom and Liz. Her perseverance was demonstrated by her last act, which was to cast an absentee ballot on November 2, 2004 just hours before her untimely death at age 52. She is fondly remembered for her kindness, her humility, her dry Yankee humor, and always setting an unattainable example for others to follow.


Alexandra "Lexi" S. Cote - McLane Middleton

Lexi is an associate in McLane Middleton’s litigation department. She has assisted clients with various civil litigation matters, primarily focusing upon probate litigation, real estate and land use litigation, and environmental litigation.

Immediately prior to joining McLane Middleton, Lexi worked as a law clerk for Senior Associate Justice Gary E. Hicks at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Before her time at the Supreme Court, Lexi worked for two years as a law clerk for the New Hampshire Superior Court, primarily supporting judges in Strafford and Carroll Counties.

SUPERPOWER: “An uncanny ability to appreciate the good things in life.”


Judge Martha Ramey Crocker - Milford District Court

Judge Crocker earned her law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 1979. She was the assistant county attorney for Cheshire County between 1980 and 1984, before going into private practice. In 1985, she was appointed special justice of Jaffrey-Peterborough District Court. She has also sat as a special justice in district courts across the state. In 2002, Judge Crocker was confirmed as a justice for the Milford District Court.


Chief Justice Linda S. Dalianis - Formerly of the N.H. Supreme Court

The Hon. Linda Stewart Dalianis’s extraordinary 45-year legal career has been defined by milestones. She has the distinction of being the first female associate justice and chief justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, as well as the first woman to serve as a judge on the state’s superior court trial bench and to be appointed a marital master. While Dalianis has received much attention over the years for these accomplishments, she is also famous for saying, “the best thing about ‘firsts’ is that they give way to the ‘familiar’, the point in time when you know you are truly making progress.”

Chief Justice Dalianis retired from the New Hampshire Supreme Court on April 1, 2018. As the leader of the state’s judicial branch, she started the NH E-Court Program which ushered in the era of electronic case filings at all levels of New Hampshire’s judicial system and founded the J-ONE Initiative, a complex and ground-breaking program dedicated to integrating all components of the state’s criminal justice system. Her legacy also includes developing  alternative dispute resolution services and improving how the court delivers services in family law cases.

SUPERPOWER: “The ability to keep my head down and push forward. Kind of like a draft horse.”


Claudia Cords Damon - Retired, formerly of Sheehan Phinney

Claudia Cords Damon received her Juris Doctor from Boston University in 1974. Following law school, she began her legal career at Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green, where she remained until 2000. Claudia has served as Chair of the Boscawen Zoning Board of Adjustment and Concord Board of Education. She has served on the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. She was an incorporator of the Hillsborough Women’s Bar Association, the predecessor to the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association. Claudia has served as board member and officer on numerous boards of charitable organizations over the years. She is currently retired from practice.

SUPERPOWER: Stamina


Beth A. Deragon - Pastori | Krans, PLLC

Beth A. Deragon is Of Counsel at Pastori | Krans, PLLC. She focuses her practice on counseling and training businesses on sound employment practices, and defending businesses in employment litigation before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Beth authored the NH chapter of: Employment at Will: A State-by-State Survey (First & Second Editions), ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Bloomberg BNA, 2017. She is Chair of the NH Department of Labor Civil Penalty Appeals Board, the NH Bar Association Labor and Employment Section and the NH Bar Association Gender Equality Committee.

SUPERPOWER: “My superpower is derived from my home-made popcorn—both butter and caramel flavors. Have to try it to get the superpower.”


Samantha D. Elliott - Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C.

Samantha D. Elliott is a trial attorney and the president of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, where she concentrates on business and commercial disputes, municipal defense in civil rights litigation, employment law, property rights, and product liability issues. She is a graduate of Colgate University and Columbia Law School. Samantha is selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Commercial Litigation. She is a member of the boards of New Hampshire Legal Assistance and the Legal Advice and Referral Center and is the immediate past co-chair for their joint board of directors. Samantha serves as the lawyer representative on the New Hampshire Court Accreditation Commission and serves on the Federal Court Advisory Committee.

SUPERPOWER: “Surrounding myself with smart, funny people who help me succeed on behalf of my clients and enjoy life in the process.”


Joni N. Esperian - Retired

Joni Esperian earned both her B.A. in Philosophy magna cum laude, her M.A. in applied Philosophy from Stony Brook University and her J.D. from UNH School of Law in 1992. She completed her M.A. & J.D. while working full-time and raising her son Ian. She is a past-president, vice-president, program director and cofounder of the NH Women’s Bar Association.

Joni was a member of the NHBA’s Gender Equality Committee from 1993 to 2016 and was Chair from 2014 to 2016. Joni published gender related articles in the NH Bar News and NH Bar Journal starting in 1993. As a law student Joni worked on the defense team in the case of State of New Hampshire v. Pamela Smart. After passing the bar in NH and MA, Joni undertook a civil trial litigation practice until her hire as Executive Director of the NH Commission for Human Rights. She mediated cases before starting law school. Joni was a volunteer mediator for the Human Rights Commission until her employment there and conciliated cases as Director. She retired from state service in 2018.

SUPERPOWER: “Spydy sense!”


Christina A. Ferrari - Bernstein Shur

Christina Ferrari is a Shareholder of Bernstein Shur, PA., where she is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Business, and Healthcare Practice Groups. She is President of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, a member of the Manchester Business Council, appointed by Mayor Craig, and a member of the New Hampshire Tech Alliance’s BioMedTech Committee and Government Affairs Committee. She earned her J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where she was a Daniel Webster Scholar and sworn into the New Hampshire Bar prior to graduation, and her M.A. in Medical Science, with Thesis Honors, from Boston University School of Medicine.

SUPERPOWER: "My patience and ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when the path is not yet clear."


Joan M. Fortin - Bernstein Shur

Joan Fortin is a shareholder at Bernstein Shur in the firm’s Portland, Maine office, and is the firm’s CEO-Elect. She will become the firm’s first female CEO in the firm’s 104-year history. For the past 10 years, Joan has been a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and has served as the firm’s Director of Attorney Recruiting & Retention, and she is a founding member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. In recent years she has become an outspoken advocate for gender and pay equity, and diversity and inclusion. Joan’s speaking engagements include leading a panel discussion on Women Leading in the Workplace and participating in a panel at the 2017 Mainebiz Forum on Women’s Leadership on the topic of “The Gender Wage Gap: why is this still a thing?” In June 2018, she delivered a rousing TED-style talk on gender issues in the workplace at the first annual DisruptHR Conference in Portland, Maine, and in August 2018, Mainebiz named her a 2018 Woman to Watch, recognizing her as a champion for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. Joan continues to speak regularly on issues related to diversity and inclusion and gender equity.

SUPERPOWER: “Her uncanny ability to see growth potential in others—combined with her ability to then help people see that some potential in themselves.”


Jennifer L. Frizzell - N.H. Women's Foundation

Jennifer is the Director of Policy at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. Before joining the Women’s Foundation, Jennifer served as Vice President for Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for more than a decade. Under Jennifer’s leadership, Planned Parenthood significantly increased its involvement in litigation, grassroots organizing and political advocacy in response to unprecedented attacks on women’s health in New Hampshire and at the national level. Jennifer serves on the adjunct faculty at the University of New Hampshire School of Law (her alma mater) where she has taught a course on “Lobbying and the Legislative Process”. She is a founding Board member and past Chair of the New Hampshire Women’s Policy Institute. Jennifer lives in Concord, NH with her 2 teenaged sons. When not working or engaged in New Hampshire politics, Jennifer enjoys practicing yoga, exploring the outdoors and watching her sons play hockey and tennis.


Kelly J. Gagliuso - Bernstein Shur

Kelly J. Gagliuso is a shareholder in the Manchester office of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer and Nelson, where she is a member of the firm’s construction and litigation practice groups. Kelly is Fellow in the Construction Lawyers Society of America and an active member of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry. Kelly served on the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire/Vermont Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors of America for ten years, holding the position of Chair and National Director. She is a past President of the New Hampshire Good Roads Association and a former Director of the Granite State Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction. Kelly is a frequent lecturer on construction law topics in seminars designed for both attorneys and contractors.

SUPERPOWER: “Construction dispute resolution.”


Susan S. Geiger - Orr & Reno

Susan Geiger is a Director and Shareholder of Orr & Reno, P.A. where she is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Energy Practice Group. Formerly, Susan was a New Hampshire Public Utilities Commissioner and a Member of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. Prior to joining the New Hampshire PUC, Susan was a Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Suffolk University Law School.

SUPERPOWERS: “The ability to find humor in most situations.”


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Supreme Court of the U.S.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton and is the second female justice of four to be confirmed to the court. Ginsburg earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and married and became a mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. She ultimately transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated first in her class. She spent a large part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court.


In Memory of Claire L. Gregory - Former Assistant Attorney General

Claire was a graduate of Smith College and the University of Virginia, School of Law. Her legal career was singularly focused on ensuring people were treated fairly and received the full protection of the law. As a trial attorney for the Office of the Attorney General, she advocated for the people of New Hampshire in civil matters before administrative agencies, state and federal courts. At the U.S. Department of Justice as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Claire brought suits to stop employment discrimination, and worked tirelessly to establish anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies.

SUPERPOWERS: “Her attention to detail and tenacity.”


Holly B. Haines - Abramson, Brown & Dugan 

Holly is an attorney at Abramson, Brown & Dugan, where she represents patients and others injured by negligent medical care. Holly received her law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (Franklin Pierce Law Center). Holly is actively involved in local and national legal organizations, serving on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice, currently chair-elect of the Professional Negligence Section; the New Hampshire Association for Justice, currently President Elect; and, the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, serving as President from 2010-2012. She has also been active in the New Hampshire Bar Association and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the New Hampshire Bar Foundation.

Holly has received many awards and recognition for her work, both for her representation of injured plaintiffs and for her service to the legal profession. Among others, she has received the Robert E. Kirby Award from the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, the President’s award from the New Hampshire Association for Justice, the Hollman Award from the New Hampshire Bar Association Gender Equality Committee in 2019, and she will receive the Board of Governor’s Award from the New Hampshire Association for Justice in June 2019.

SUPERPOWER: Her "dedication to and advocacy for her clients is unparalleled."


Justice A. Barbara Hantz Marconi - NH Supreme Court

Anna Barbara “Bobbie” Hantz Marconi is the 108th Associate Justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Justice Hantz Marconi is only the third woman to sit on the state’s highest court. Hantz Marconi joins the court from private practice as a shareholder with the Manchester law firm of Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green. There, her concentration included appellate litigation, business litigation, land use, mediation, probate, and family law. At Sheehan Phinney, she gained the reputation as a problem solver. Her work on key cases set new legal standards for zoning appeals and established privacy standards for internet information. She graduated with honors from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Political Science and received her Juris Doctorate from The Chicago Kent College of Law where she was member of the Order of the Coif. Following law school, she clerked for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

SUPERPOWER: “A sense of humor.”


Professor Lucy  C. Hodder - UNH School of Law

Lucy Hodder is the Director of Health Law and Policy programs at the University of New Hampshire, a Professor of Law at UNH School of Law, and a member of the leadership team at the Institute for Health Policy and Practice. Lucy is an experienced health care and regulatory attorney and has practiced law for over 25 years. She most recently served as Legal Counsel to New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and her Senior Health Care Policy Adviser. Previously a shareholder in the firm of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C, and Chair of the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group, Lucy advised providers and businesses on strategic affiliations to navigate the changing health care regulatory environment. Prior to private practice, Lucy served as an Assistant Attorney General in the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

SUPERPOWER: “I am a firm believer in the power of common sense!”


Susan B. Hollinger - Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C.

Susan is a Shareholder – Director with Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C., where she advises her clients on banking, real estate, and business legal issues, primarily related to the financial services industry. Some of Susan’s significant projects include forming the first de novo bank in the United States after the financial crisis, successfully completing the first domestication of an out-of-state non-depository trust company, counseling clients in numerous bank and insurance agency and other business acquisitions, charter conversions, charitable trust modifications, and legislative matters. Susan has spoken in numerous seminars on banking and trust issues, and elder abuse prevention. Susan is 38 a graduate of Clemson University and the George Washington University Law School. Susan is selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law. 

SUPERPOWER: “Resiliency—in my life, I’ve been able to pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward when life has presented difficult or unexpected circumstances.”


Lauren S. Irwin - Upton & Hatfield LLP

Lauren Irwin is a partner with Upton & Hatfield, LLP in Concord, New Hampshire, where she primarily practices employment law. Lauren joined Upton & Hatfield, LLP after serving as a New Hampshire Superior Court law clerk. Attorney Irwin is a graduate of Boston University Law School and Wesleyan University. She is the former President and Member of the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association. She is the former Chair of the Labor & Employment Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association, the former Chair of NHBA Gender Equality Committee, and the former Chair of the Federal Practice Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association. She is a member of the New Hampshire Association for Justice, the New Hampshire Council of School Attorneys, and the former Chair and Board Member of RB Productions. She was named Best Lawyers’ 2014-15 Concord Employment Law - Individuals “Lawyer of the Year,” named among Best Lawyers’ 2017 Women of Influence, and named Best Lawyers’ 2019 Employment Law – Individuals “Lawyer of the Year.” She is also a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and an Adjunct Professor at UNH School of Law. Lauren volunteers as a Mediator for the Superior Court Rule 170 Program and the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission Mediation Program.

SUPERPOWER: “Able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound.”


Linda S. Johnson - McLane Middleton

Attorney Linda Johnson is a director at McLane Middleton Professional Association where she serves as chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, on the Management Committee and as Co-Chair of the Education Law Group. Linda is on the Board of the New Hampshire Diversity Workforce Coalition, the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation and the St. Anselm’s Center for Ethics in Business and Governance. She is also active on the New Hampshire Women’s Heritage Trail Committee. She is a former commissioner on the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Women and a longtime champion of civil rights. Linda was the first woman officer in the history of the New Hampshire Bar Association when she was elected Treasurer in 1988. She has been selected as an Outstanding Business Woman of New Hampshire by N.H. Business Review, was awarded the Philip Holman Gender Equality Award, and was a recipient of the Jon Meyer Civil Rights Award and Marilla Ricker award. She is also a past New Hampshire School Administrators Champion for Children award recipient.

SUPERPOWER: “Ability to find something positive in any situation (or, running on two hours sleep for a decade—that was what my children told me to say!)”


Pamela K. Jones - NH Public Defender

Pamela K. Jones started her career as a case worker at a juvenile delinquency facility in Los Angeles, California. She then went on to work for a non-profit foster family agency as the supervisor for the visitation center in California before going to law school. She attended New England Law and joined the New Hampshire Public Defender (NHPD) in 2008. As a public defender she defends both adult and juvenile clients however she has focused her work primarily on juvenile issues, specifically assisting youth charged with delinquency petitions not only face their charges but also integrate into their communities and achieve educational goals. She assists in the new lawyer training for NHPD, specifically training the new lawyers on juvenile representation as well as other juvenile specific training for the entire NHPD program.

SUPERPOWER: Intuition.


Barbara R. Keshen - Retired

Barbara Keshen was admitted to the Bar in 1976 and worked for 30 years in criminal law as a prosecutor and defense attorney. Barbara also served as the Legal Director for ACLU-NH. Barbara taught Trial Advocacy at NH Law School. For the last 13 years Barbara has served on the board of the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

SUPERPOWERS: “The first is recognizing and nurturing talent in others and the second is knowing when to stop talking!”


Suzanne M. Ketteridge - N.H. Public Defender

Suzanne Ketteridge has an MBA from Rivier University. Prior to starting her legal career, she was Barbara Keshen chief operating officer of a small manufacturing company. She received her JD from Franklin Pierce School of Law and began her legal career in 2004 as a public defender. In 2016, she left the public defender’s office to work as an assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Bureau. In February 2018, Suzanne returned to the New Hampshire Public Defender’s office.

SUPERPOWER: Able to listen intently and patiently to long, rambling, often disjointed stories.


Heather E. Krans - Pastori | Krans, PLLC

Heather E. Krans is an attorney at Pastori | Krans, PLLC in Concord, NH. She earned her undergraduate degree from University of Vermont, and her law degree, with distinction, from Emory University School of Law. Ms. Krans concentrates her practice in family law. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), an association of the nation’s leading family law practitioners. She has been named Best Lawyers’ Concord Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” in both 2014 and 2016. Ms. Krans also serves as the vice chair of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Professional Conduct Committee, and is the 2014 recipient of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Philip S. Hollman Gender Equality Award.

SUPERPOWER: “Finding work appropriate clothing that has the comfort of sweatpants!”


Amy L. LaBelle - LaBelle Winery

Formerly a corporate attorney, Amy’s lifelong interest in wine led her to open LaBelle Winery to pursue her passion for winemaking. Amy is attracted to the agrarian lifestyle and the elegance of making excellent wine. Growing from producing 400 cases to over 10,000 cases annually, Amy has slowly seen her dream realized: to make the best wine she can make – showcasing New England-grown fruit – and to produce a wine that will bring together family & friends to enjoy. LaBelle wines are elegant, enjoyable, easy drinking wines, made with the best and brightest produce. Each bottle is filled with Amy’s love for the ancient art of winemaking.


Connie Boyles Lane - Orr & Reno

Connie has been practicing law for almost 39 years in numerous capacities – private practice, legal services, in-house, and consultant. While proud of her professional accomplishments, she is most proud of her two sons, Dan and Jeff. Raising them has provided the most difficult and most rewarding experiences in her life so far – mom, room parent, coach, nurse, and enforcer! Currently, she is a director at Orr & Reno, a State Representative for Merrimack District 12, and serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Red River Theatres and board member at NH Housing Finance Authority.

SUPERPOWER: “Perseverance. I’ve been fighting for equal rights and equal justice since I was a teenager in Atlanta during the 1970’s. Stay vigilant and keep moving forward, even if it feels like baby steps. To quote MLK: Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”


Elizabeth S. LaRochelle - Morneau Law

Elizabeth LaRochelle is an attorney at Morneau Law, where she focuses on family and elder law. She compassionately navigates families through the complex waters of the legal world, guiding them towards resolution. Elizabeth takes a lot of pride in being a resource for others, both at Morneau Law and in the legal community at large, through her work as the Chair of the New Hampshire Ethics Committee and as Vice-President of the Nashua Bar Association. When she is not assisting clients, she likes to spend time with her family either at home in the Queen City or on one of New England’s fabulous beaches.

SUPERPOWER: “I’m a straight shooter! I have a great ability to say what I mean and mean what I say.”


Maria Holland Law - Rath Young Pignatelli

Maria joined Rath, Young and Pignatelli, PC in March of 2009. She is a member of the Energy Law, Business and Finance, Education and the Non-profit groups. Her practice focuses on counseling corporate and individual clients in real estate and corporate transactions as well as in support of solar, wind, hydro-electric, bio fuels, renewable energy projects. Prior to joining the firm, Maria practiced law with Nixon, Peabody, LLP and McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, PA, both in Manchester, New Hampshire. Maria is an active participant in Manchester based, as well as statewide, non-profit organizations.

SUPERPOWER: “Grace under pressure.”


Mary Susan Leahy - McLane Middleton

Mary Susan Leahy is a member of McLane Middleton’s Trusts and Estates and Corporate Departments. She served as law clerk for Justice Frank R. Kenison of the New Hampshire Supreme Court between 1970 and 1971. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. She has served on a bank board, the boards of number of healthcare organizations, the boards of a number of other charitable organizations, was a founding member of the Concord Feminist Health Center, and was president of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as trustee of a number of charitable trusts.

SUPERPOWER: “Being a contributing member of the McLane women’s running team in ‘age-graded’ races.”


Prof. Eleanor H. MacLellan - UNH School of Law

Eleanor MacLellan, Esq. is the Assistant Dean for Career Services and is an Associate Professor of Legal Skills at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law. Before she worked at UNH Law, Eleanor practiced for 28 years at Sulloway & Hollis. There, she served as Chair of the Management, Hiring, and Associates Committees and chaired the Litigation Department. She helped hire and mentor numerous young attorneys and knows the “business side” of practicing law. As a litigator with a regional practice, she developed good relationships with judges and practitioners. Her peers repeatedly recognized her legal skills in two categories (employment law and health care law) by including her in Best Lawyers in New Hampshire, New England Superlawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.

At the law school, Eleanor has taught legal writing and has served as the law school’s HR Director and Legal Counsel. As Assistant Dean for Career Services, she teaches the Introduction to the Legal Profession course and draws on her knowledge of the students and the institution, as well as her experience, contacts, reputation in the legal community, and her creative approach to problem solving to help students find jobs. Eleanor graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated from UNH Law in 1981.


Maureen Raiche Manning - Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC

Attorney Maureen Raiche Manning has experience in all areas of civil litigation, including representing victims of personal injury, workers’ compensation, wrongful death, and medical malpractice cases with a proven record of success in New Hampshire federal and state courts. She is a lifelong resident of Manchester and the mother of three adult sons.

Maureen has served on the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, the New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules, and was Chair of the New Hampshire Women’s Lobby. Maureen was a nominee for a seat in the New Hampshire Senate in 2014 and served three terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. First elected at age 19, Maureen remains the youngest woman ever elected to a seat in the state legislature.

Maureen is a founding member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association and served as its first president. She has served on the Board of Governors of the New Hampshire Bar Association and the New Hampshire Bar Foundation. She was honored by the Bar Association’s Gender Equality Committee as the recipient of its Annual Award. Maureen is a past-President of the New Hampshire Association for Justice and received the Board of Governors’ Award for her advocacy before the New Hampshire legislature.

SUPERPOWER: “Being a really good listener.”


Charlene E. McGraw - McGraw Law Firm 

Charlene E. McGraw is the founder and principal attorney at the McGraw Law Firm in Skaneateles, New York. In 2011, Charlene left her position as Chair of the Estates, Trusts & Elder Law Practice at the Sugarman Law Firm and opened a small office in Skaneateles in order to be able to provide more personalized and client-friendly legal services to her clients. Charlene enjoys the challenge of resolving complex legal problems, but the most satisfying part of her job is being able to alleviate her clients' stress by taking on the complicated legal issues they face as the result of difficult circumstances such as disability, long term care needs, and death.

For the past twenty years, Charlene's practice has been concentrated in the areas of estate planning, elder law, guardianship matters, estate administration, and estate-related litigation. Charlene graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Accounting and received her Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law summa cum laude. She is a member of the Onondaga County and New York State Bar Associations as well as a member and past President of the Estate Planning Council of Central New York.


In Memory of Marilyn Billings McNamara - Formerly of Upton & Hatfield LLP

Marilyn was a domestic relations lawyer with thirty-five years of experience in all aspects of the field. Marilyn served as President of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, the Board of Bar Governors of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and the governing board of the New England Bar Association. Her service to New Hampshire has also included membership on the Judicial Council, Pro Se Task Force Study Group and Access to Justice Commission as well as committees of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

A recipient of the L. Jonathan Ross Award for outstanding commitment to legal services for the poor, Marilyn was also a member of the first Judicial Section Commission established in New Hampshire and authorized a chapter on children and the law for a Practical Guide to Divorce in New Hampshire, a two-volume professional reference publication.

SUPERPOWER: “Her ability to be magnanimous.”


Kristin A. Mendoza - Bernstein Shur

Kristin Mendoza is a Shareholder in the Manchester, NH office of Bernstein Shur where she advises tech startups and business clients on governance and transactional matters. She is also a pro bono legal adviser to clients of the Center for Women & Enterprise. Kristin served as President of the NH Women’s Bar Association from 2008-2010 and has served on the boards of numerous non-profits including: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua, the Nashua Innovation Center, the Nashua Bar Association and United Way of Greater Nashua. She lives in Nashua with her husband, Dennis, and their two sons.

SUPERPOWER: "Bringing calm to chaos."

Kathryn H. Michaelis - Rath Young Pignatelli

Kathryn H. Michaelis is a shareholder of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C. and a member of the firm’s Tax Practice Group, where she concentrates her practice in assisting business clients with state and local tax matters in the New England states. Kathryn also strives to work collaboratively with the New England revenue agencies in various roles to address and improve their state tax systems. Kathryn has approximately 20 years of experience in the state and local tax field, having both previously worked with PwC and the Illinois Department of Revenue in Chicago. Kathryn is included in Best Lawyers in America© in the area of tax law and tax litigation and is a regular speaker and author on state tax topics in New England. Kathryn is presently the Vice-President of the New England State and Local Tax Forum and serves as co-contributor for the New Hampshire and Vermont state tax developments for the Council on State Taxation (COST) in Washington, D.C. Kathryn is admitted to practice in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Illinois.

SUPERPOWER: “The ability to manage a meeting with a straight face while my son is sitting on my feet under my desk eating crackers.”


Katherine J. Morneau - Morneau Law

Katherine Morneau is a dedicated family lawyer and business owner. She is known for helping good people through tough times, such as divorce and parenting matters. With a focus on working together for the interests of the family, she strives to give her clients the tools they need for a successful future.

Katherine started her own law firm to pave the path for practicing law differently, with her clients at the center of everything she does. She has a strong reputation of giving back to the New Hampshire community and supports her team to do the same. She genuinely cares about her team, clients and community and looks forward to continuing to grow her practice in the Nashua area.

SUPERPOWER: “Helping others find their inner superhero!”


Prof. Ellen J. Musinsky - UNH School of Law

Professor Musinsky has had a long career teaching as a member of the clinical faculty at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, where she has taught students to handle real cases and taught classes in Family Law, Administrative Advocacy, and Non-Profit Corporations. In addition to handling cases, she did extensive work with legislative initiatives in NH, that primarily related to public benefits, family law and equal rights. In more recent years, Attorney Musinsky developed and ran an externship program at UNH Law. After pretending to retire, she worked of counsel at Manning and Zimmerman PLLC and then returned to the Law School, where she assisted with the externship/now called residency program and now serves as alumni liaison.

SUPERPOWER: “Life’s working out what I’m about and letting others be.”


Amanda Nelson - Artium Amore

Amanda Nelson is the founder and principal of Artium Amore, PLLC, a law firm that focuses on the unique legal needs of artists and nonprofits. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire (B.A. History and M.A. History and Museum Studies) (Phi Beta Kappa) and of the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Before attending law school, Ms. Nelson worked as a museum curator and consultant for small museums and historical societies for over ten years. She also teaches Nonprofit Management and Grants Research, Writing and Management at Northern Essex Community College.

She is Secretary of the Dover Arts Commission, a board member of the Woodman Museum; a board member of Arts4NH (formerly New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts); a board member and past president of the Weeks Brick House, a 300-year-old residence in Greenland, NH; and a board member of Red Arch Cultural Heritage Law and Policy Research. She frequently presents seminars for the artist community and about nonprofit management in New Hampshire and other states.


Margaret H. Nelson - Sulloway & Hollis, P.L.L.C.

Margaret H. Nelson is a member of Sulloway & Hollis, where she practices commercial and administrative litigation, focusing on property tax abatements and exemptions, eminent domain, state tax issues, insurance coverage, professional liability and public utility matters. She has successfully represented property tax owners in some of the largest tax appeals in New Hampshire involving a wide range of property, including generating plants and other utility property, shopping centers, hotels, industrial and commercial property, bank buildings and high end  residential property. She has also handled a broad range of coverage matters for insurers, including professional liability, directors and officers, commercial general liability and other types of policies, as well as reinsurance disputes. In addition, she also has substantial experience involving legal ethics and risk management issues, having served for many years as Chair of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Professional Conduct Committee. She has appeared frequently before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Ms. Nelson served as Sulloway & Hollis’ Managing Director for 10 years from 2008 through 2017.

SUPERPOWER: "Consensus builder."


Jennifer L. Parent - McLane Middleton

Jennifer is a director and chair of the McLane Middleton’s Litigation Department. She has over twenty years of experience litigating and resolving disputes for companies and business owners in a wide range of complex commercial cases and employment matters. She has litigated in state and federal courts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Jennifer has represented employers in the areas of employment discrimination, executive termination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, contract, defamation, wages, trade secret, noncompetition, and non-solicitation disputes. She has represented companies in business litigation involving contracts, tortious interference, unfair competition, shareholder, real estate, tax abatement, eminent domain, leases, misrepresentation, and other business disputes. Jennifer has also represented companies in employment and tax abatement matters at the agency level and conducted workplace trainings and discrimination/harassment investigations. She is also a trained mediator with extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution.

Jennifer received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School (1995) and her B.A., cum laude, from Boston College (1992). She also completed the St. Paul's School Advanced Studies Program (1987).


Terri L. Pastori - Pastori | Krans, PLLC

Terri L. Pastori is a partner with Pastori | Krans, PLLC, where she practices employment law. Terri is a frequent presenter and contributor on Massachusetts and New Hampshire employment law topics. She is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, Society for Human Resources Management, and the Human Resources Association of Greater Concord. Terri has been selected for the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers in America (Employment Law-Management). She earned her B.S. degree from UMass Lowell, magna cum laude, and her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School, summa cum laude.

SUPERPOWER: “I played capture the flag at Camp Huckins’ Family Weekend and lived to tell you about it.”


Pamela E. Phelan - Disabilities Rights Center - NH

Pamela is the litigation director at Disability Rights  Center - NH. She joined DRC-NH in August 2018 with nearly twenty years of experience in trial and appellate litigation in New Hampshire. As its Litigation Director, she leads DRC-NH’s efforts to protect and expand the civil rights of people with disabilities. Pamela previously was the Chief Deputy Clerk at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Prior to that, she worked at the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office and Orr & Reno, P.A. In addition to her work at DRC-NH, Pamela is an adjunct professor at the UNH School of Law, teaching pretrial and trial skills to Daniel Webster Scholars.

SUPERPOWER: “Persistence.”


Connie L. Rakowsky - Rakowsky Mediation

Before mediating full time, Connie counseled individuals, businesses and commercial clients at Orr & Reno and managed legal aid work at the Legal Advice and Referral Center. She served on a wide variety of boards of directors, including charitable, business and the international board of Meritas law firms. Along with other honors and appointments, she was fortunate to receive the Marilla Ricker Achievement Award by the NH Women’s Bar Association in 2013. Connie was an early adopter of mediation, participating in many in-depth training programs since the early 1990’s with the goal of strengthening her counseling and listening skills.

In mediation, Connie has a primarily facilitative approach, addressing the human as well as the legal side of the dispute equation. Connie’s practice includes private clients; she serves on the NH Superior, Business, Probate, Minor Guardianship and Federal Court mediation panels, the Maine CADRE and York County Probate panels and is a mediator and arbitrator for the AAA.


Marital Master Deborah Kane Rein - Hess Gehris Solutions

From 1988-2011, Deborah served as a Marital Master for the NH Judicial Branch. She currently serves as a Neutral Case Evaluator for the Family Division of the NH Circuit Court as well as a mediator for the NH Supreme Court. In addition, Deborah taught at the UNH School of Law from 1984-1988 serving as the founder, director and faculty of the Guardian Ad Litem Clinic. Prior to that, she was a staff attorney for NH Legal Assistance and Legal Services of Middle Tennessee. Since leaving the bench in 2011, Deborah has had an active private mediation practice. She has been at Hess Gehris Solutions since 2014.

Deborah is the co-chair of the combined boards of New Hampshire Legal Assistance and LARC (Legal Advice and Referral Center) and on the NH Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. She is the 2010 winner of the NHWBA’s Marilla Ricker Achievement Award.

SUPERPOWER: “The ability to turn invisible, but only when people aren’t looking.”


Hilary A. Holmes Rheaume - Bernstein Shur

Hilary Holmes Rheaume is a member of Bernstein Shur’s Litigation and Labor/Employment  Practice Groups. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, employment, and construction law. Prior to joining Bernstein Shur, Hilary served as a judicial intern with the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Additionally, she worked as an intern with the National Education Association of New Hampshire.

Hilary earned her J.D. from University of New Hampshire School of Law, where she was honored with the National Association of Women’s Lawyers Award as an Outstanding Law Student and a Schweitzer Fellow.


Dianne E. Ricardo - McLane Middleton

Dianne is an associate in McLane Middleton’s litigation department. Dianne is a trial lawyer with substantial experience and expertise handling contested probate and fiduciary claims, including guardianships, trust and will contests, power of attorney accountings, and other probate litigation. In addition, Dianne has experience and expertise in general commercial litigation, including contract disputes, employment actions, and education matters.

Dianne dedicates many hours each year to representing low-income individuals through the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Pro Bono Program. She is a prior winner of the Jack B. Middleton Pro Bono Legal Services Award for her demonstrated commitment to providing legal services to New Hampshire’s low-income and underprivileged citizens.


Emily Gray Rice - Manchester City Solicitor's Office

Emily Gray Rice currently serves as the City Solicitor for Manchester, New Hampshire. Previously, Ms. Rice served as the first woman appointed by the President to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire. Before becoming U. S. Attorney, Ms. Rice enjoyed a long career as a trial lawyer and public servant, beginning with her tenure as a member of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office where she became a senior assistant attorney general and chief of the bureau of civil law. Ms. Rice has been extensively involved in New Hampshire’s civic life, co-chairing the Governor’s Judicial Selection Commission, founding and leading non-profit boards and fundraising efforts, and advancing access to justice for all. Ms. Rice has been recognized by the New Hampshire Bar Association with the Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism; by the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association with the Marilla Ricker Achievement Award; and by the New Hampshire Bar Foundation as an Honorary Fellow.

SUPERPOWER: “Optimism.”


Nancy Richards-Stower - Law Offices of Nancy Richards-Stower

Nancy Richards-Stower, employee advocate, created/owns TrytoSettle.com®, an on-line settlement site. Inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2003, Nancy is a former member and chair of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights (HRC) (1979-1985). She opened her solo practice in Merrimack in 1989, litigates in N.H. and Massachusetts, and advocates for employee rights before the N.H. legislature. In 1992, she joined the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and its Massachusetts chapter, founding the New Hampshire chapter in 1993. Nancy has presented at national and regional NELA conventions and at each of the 18 annual N.H.B.A. employment law seminars.

SUPERPOWER: “My whistle: "loudest whistle in Fenway Park"(credit: Remdog[Jerry Remy]); "best campaign rally whistle ever" (credit: James Carville).


Jeanne S. Saffan - Upton & Hatfield LLP

Jeanne S. Saffan is a partner with Upton & Hatfield, LLP in Concord, New Hampshire. Her practice involves providing legal counsel to individuals, families, and business owners focusing wealth preservation and the transfer of assets to future generations and charitable organizations. Ms. Saffan’s experience includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, guardianships, business entity formation and management, real estate transfers, management of family real estate, transfers of business interests, contracts, deferred compensation plans, general employment matters and workplace investigations.

SUPERPOWER: “Ability to adapt to anything.”


Talesha L. Saint-Marc - Bernstein Shur

Talesha is a shareholder in Bernstein Shur’s Labor & Employment and Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Groups and provides thoughtful and practical advice and counsel to employers regarding all aspects of employment law. Talesha frequently represents employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, FLSA, whistleblower, wage claim and FMLA litigation. In addition to representing employers before both various government agencies and in court, she represents employers in collective bargaining, contract administration, grievance and arbitration proceedings, and before the National Labor Relations Board. Although she works to find creative non-litigation solutions, where litigation is unavoidable, Talesha is a committed and dedicated advocate.

SUPERPOWER: “Telepathy.”


Jane M. Schirch - Shanelaris & Schirch

Attorney Schirch received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and graduated cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in 1992. Attorney Schirch began her legal career in the litigation department of Lynch, Brewer, Hoffman & Sands of Boston, Massachusetts where she focused her practice primarily on complex business litigation. She worked for several years as both a Supervising Attorney and Staff Attorney for the New Hampshire Division of Child Support Services. Attorney Schirch and her partner, Attorney Catherine Shanelaris, opened their firm, Shanelaris & Schirch, PLLC in August, 2000 and have focused their practice in the area of family law.

Attorney Schirch is the Co-chair and past Secretary of the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire (“CLANH”) and is the chair of both the Greater Nashua Collaborative Law Practice Group as well as the Membership and Practice Group Committee. Attorney Schirch is a member of the Legislative Committee that is in the process of revising the Uniform Collaborative Law Act for passage in the state of New Hampshire. Attorney Schirch is a former Board member of the New Hampshire Women's Bar Association. She is a trained mediator and parenting coordinator.

SUPERPOWER: “I have the ultimate powers of concentration and focus: ask anyone at my office, I oftentimes will ignore and not hear people speaking to me because I am concentrating so intently.”


Catherine E. Shanelaris - Shanelaris & Schirch

Catherine Shanelaris is a founding member and partner with Shanelaris & Schirch, PLLC in Nashua, NH. Attorney Shanelaris is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, Nashua Bar Association and NH Women’s Bar Association. She was formerly the chief staff attorney for the New Hampshire Division of Child Support Services and served as a county governor for the former New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Attorney Shanelaris practices law in the domestic relations area including divorce, child support, parenting and guardianship matters. She is a trained marital mediator. She is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association Family Law Section and the New Hampshire Bar Association Pro Bono Governing Board. She was appointed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court as a commissioner to the Access to Justice Commission and the New Hampshire Commission on the New Hampshire Bar in the Twenty-First Century. She is the Governor-at-large for the New Hampshire Bar Association Board of Governors. Attorney Shanelaris was appointed by the Governor to the New Hampshire Board of Psychologists as its public board member. She is a New Hampshire Bar Foundation Fellow. She is the recipient of the NHWBA Marilla M. Ricker Achievement Award, the UNH School of Law Bruce Friedman Pro Bono Award, the NHBA L. Jonathan Ross Award and Nashua Bar Association Ted Jordan Humanitarian Award.

SUPERPOWER: “My ability to non-stop talk, but also to be able to empathize.”


Charla Bizios Stevens - Mclane Middleton

Charla Stevens is a Director and Chair of the Employment Law Practice Group at McLane Middleton. She also works in the Education and Health Care practice groups. She focuses her practice on addressing litigated and non-litigated employment issues such as discrimination, harassment, employee classification and wage and hour claims.

Charla is the Vice-Chair of the NH Business and Industry Association’s Healthcare, HR & Workforce Development Policy Committee and a Past Director of the HR State Council of New Hampshire. She was appointed by Governor Maggie Hassan to serve as Chair of the state Personnel Appeals Board. Charla has been recognized as a leading employment lawyer by Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, New England Super Lawyers and has achieved an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Charla currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Families in Transitions/New Horizons and on the Boards of Directors of the Granite United Way and the Southern New Hampshire Medical System and Foundation.

SUPERPOWER: “I run. I run as far as I can as often as I can. I’ve run 6 marathons (with number 7 coming up in 3 weeks) and 30 half marathons in 10 different states so far.


Martha Van Oot - Jackson Lewis

Martha Van Oot is a Shareholder in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College, many decades ago, and received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

She is a former prosecutor in the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. Marty is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, former President of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and former Vice-Chair and Director of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation. She has been recognized in Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation, Chambers USA for employment law and civil litigation, Best Lawyers in America for employment law and legal malpractice defense and New England Super Lawyers for civil litigation. Marty currently serves as a member of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Professional Conduct Committee and the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Board of Bar Examiners. Marty frequently serves as a panelist on employment, trial practice and ethics for continuing legal education programs, and as a mediator for the federal district court and the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights.

SUPERPOWER: “I do not admit to having any superpowers, and consider myself lucky to have practiced law for more than 40 years without them.”


In Memory of Gretchen Leah Witt - Former U.S. Attorney for the District of N.H.

Gretchen Leah Witt began her distinguished career with the United States Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the Torts Branch, and joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1986, later serving as Civil Chief and First Assistant U.S. Attorney. Gretchen was also a member and chair of DOJ’s Civil Chiefs’ Working Group and a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, distinctions rarely achieved by civil AUSAs from smaller districts. In 2001, she was appointed by the Attorney General and the United States District Court as United States Attorney, the first woman to serve in that capacity, and was in office on September 11, 2001. Gretchen was a leader in court, bar and community endeavors. She was honored with the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism in 2012, a year before her untimely death at age 58. She will be long remembered by her friends, family and colleagues for her sharp intellect and collegiality, her generosity of spirit, her love for and devotion to her husband and her children, Becca and Colin, and her zest for life.


Sherilyn A. Burnett Young - Rath Young Pignatelli

Sherry Young is a founder and past President of the law firm of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C. She heads the firm’s Environmental Practice Group, and assists clients on federal and state environmental matters, real estate transactions, and business and finance transactions. Sherry serves as Chair to the Board of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, on the Eastern Bank Board of Trustees, the Advisory Board of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and as Past President of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Society. Sherry served as Legislative Counsel to then-Governor Judd Gregg in his first term in office. She is the first woman to chair the State Capital Legal Group, a network of independent law firms in all U.S. State capitals and in business markets and financial centers worldwide.

SUPERPOWER: “My husband Gary Young, who has for many years kept our household humming, allowing me the time to focus on my professional career. He stayed home with our 3 young kids for 7 years and played ‘Mr. Mom’ when after school daycare didn’t really work with all the extra sports, etc. activities the kids were involved in.”


Anna Goulet Zimmerman - Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC

Anna Goulet Zimmerman is a partner at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC, located in Manchester, New Hampshire. Anna has an extensive background in personal injury litigation. After law school, Anna joined a Texas law firm. There, she focused her practice on personal injury litigation until she returned to New England in 2007. Anna is a member of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association; a member and past-president of the New Hampshire Association for Justice; and a member of the American Association for Justice, the Manchester Bar Association, and the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire.

SUPERPOWER: I like what I do! This may not sound like much of a superpower, but I’m motivated each day knowing I am doing my small part in the world to help real people fight for justice.

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New Hampshire Women's Bar Association
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