The University of New Hampshire School of Law is making a positive impact on the state’s economy in two significant respects – by attracting and retaining young professionals who establish careers and raise families in the state, and by improving access to justice through its substantial volunteer legal work for citizens, state agencies, non-profits and the courts.
UNH Law continues to attract and retain young professionals who establish careers in New Hampshire. In the last three years, UNH Law has taken in 29 percent of its student body from New Hampshire, while roughly 46 percent of all graduates have secured post-graduate employment in the state. In 2016, that number was 57 percent.
In the school’s 44 year history, approximately 1,070 alumni have chosen to practice law in New Hampshire, with most establishing residences, raising families, and otherwise contributing to their communities.
UNH Law students also improve the state’s access to justice. They have contributed roughly 146,108 hours of volunteer legal work to more than 100 state and local governments, agencies, and nonprofits in New Hampshire in the last three years. It has done this through summer employment, legal residency, and clinic programs. More than 72,000 of those hours have come from 181 rising second- and third-year law students volunteering their time to organizations that deliver legal services to the state’s citizens.
Additionally, UNH Law operates four clinics that deliver legal services to clients who cannot otherwise afford an attorney, in the areas of criminal, commercial, intellectual property, or immigration law. Students work under the supervision of faculty attorneys, receiving course credit while representing clients in cases pending before state courts and agencies. In the last three years, nearly 300 students have delivered approximately 16,988 hours of legal assistance through those clinics to clients who otherwise may not have had access to justice. Additionally, clinic faculty members – all of whom are active members of the New Hampshire bar – contributed 22,270 hours of legal service as the responsible attorneys for those cases.
The contributions of young professionals from UNH Law to the state’s economy and its contribution of pro bono work help strengthen the state’s access to justice and its overall economy.