603 Legal Aid welcomed three new members at its board meeting earlier this month.
“We are beyond excited to welcome the newest members of the board! They will undoubtedly provide a wealth of knowledge and invaluable contributions to make 603 Legal Aid a success,” stated Sonya Bellafant, executive director.
603 Legal Aid formed on June 1 from the merger of the Legal Advice & Referral Center and the Pro Bono Referral Program. Members of each board remained with the new program, including co-chairs Samantha Elliott of Concord and Brian Shaughnessy of Manchester; and members Kile Adumene of Manchester, Brittany Hunt of Weare, Elizabeth Leahy of Concord, Rebecca Nann of Manchester, Rory Parnell of Manchester, Deborah Kane Rein of Lake Worth, Florida, and Cathy Shanelaris of Manchester.
Kaitlin M. O’Neil of Laconia: O’Neil is a New Hampshire native, born and raised in the Lakes Region. She received her Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, and served as the managing editor of the school’s Women’s Rights Law Reporter. Prior to law school, O’Neil spent three years as a paralegal in the litigation department of a New York corporate law firm. Legal work is a family tradition for Kaitlin. Upon returning to New Hampshire, Kaitlin joined Normandin, Cheney and O’Neil, where a member from every generation of her family has practiced law since 1914.
Emily Gray Rice of Concord: Rice currently serves as the City Solicitor for Manchester, New Hampshire, where she provides legal counsel and oversees all legal matters involving the city, including the city’s risk management function, the prosecution of criminal matters and the city’s domestic violence prosecution unit. Previously, she served as the first woman appointed by the President to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, the chief federal law enforcement officer for the District, leading an office dedicated to prosecuting the full range of federal criminal offenses, defending the United States in civil actions, and collecting debts owed to the government. Before becoming U. S. Attorney, 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 served as chief of the bureau of civil law. She 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, including the Campaign for Legal Services, and advancing access to justice for all. She is intensely interested in workforce development and in confronting the burdens imposed on the people of New Hampshire by the opioid crisis. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, she was an adjunct faculty member at the UNH School of Law where she taught both pre-trial advocacy and trial advocacy. 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.
Meg Whittemore of Warner: Whittemore has been involved in the media communications industry for over five decades, with a career that has taken her from one end of the east coast to the other. Her work has been featured in publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Forbes. In recent years, Whittemore has contributed her editorial skills as a writer and copyeditor for Newbury, NH’s annual town report, its master plan, quarterly newsletter, and ongoing administrative reports, letters, and other official documents. She is also Newbury’s recording secretary for land use boards and commissions.
In addition, Whittemore has been involved with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association as a researcher, writer, and editor of its annual report and biannual newsletter, and writes a monthly financial advice column for members of the New Hampshire Federal Credit Union on how to improve personal finance strategies.