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NH Legislators Are All Ears: Young Professional Advocacy (February 2021)

Written by: Jacqueline A. Leary (Botchman)

Published in the Greater Manchester Chamber Blog (2/16/2021)

Before attending law school in New Hampshire in 2014, I had never been to New Hampshire.  At that time, I did not imagine that I would be actively involved in local advocacy issues and discussions.  I did not even realize how I could become involved.

As part of the Manchester Young Professionals’ Advisory Council and Governance Board, I was provided an opportunity to voice my opinion and to hear fellow young professionals at Stay Work Play’s

Matters of the States virtual event on January 20, 2021.

Will Stewart, the Executive Director of Stay Work Play stated, “The goal of the Matters of State series is to virtually connect each region’s legislators with their under-40 constituents. We want to help legislators better understand the challenges faced by their younger constituents as this understanding is critical they craft public policies that have the potential to affect whether young people stay in, or leave, New Hampshire. And likewise, we want to create opportunities for young people to get to know their elected representatives so that they feel more comfortable reaching out to them in the future about these important public policies.”

Attending the Matters of the State for the Manchester region rekindled my enthusiasm for local public policy.  The event was high energy and filled with engaging conversation. I can honestly say I came away from discussion feeling hopeful for change. I was excited about what I learned, the people and local representatives I met (virtually), and the synergy of attendees, group leaders, and local representatives.

I was pleased to see so many of New Hampshire’s State Representatives and Senators getting actively involved in these discussions. I believe, at one point, I counted 8 state representatives and 1 state senator in attendance.

As part of these policy discussions, we broke out into smaller groups to address solutions to reasons why young people leave the Manchester region as well as the state.  I was lucky enough to be grouped with three state legislators as well as a highly engaged business owner.  We addressed real life topics ranging from housing affordability and childcare availability to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The goal for many employers in New Hampshire, such as my employer McLane Middleton, P.A., is to attract and retain key talent.  Some of those key legislative priorities were addressed during the event including:

1. Diversity – attracting and promoting a diverse workforce

2. Student Loans – addressing affordable public education in New Hampshire as well as student loan payoff, which is essential to the future success of our state

3. Affordable housing – creating affordable housing for young professionals both on a short term to longer term basis.

Our group also addressed the increasing homeless population issue in New Hampshire and ways to improve the safety of our streets.  Easy transportation, including rail service, was also addressed.

I would encourage young professionals to get involved.  You will certainly benefit from engaging in such a stimulating environment.  If you are interested in these types of conversations, Stay Work Play Advocacy Committee is taking on members.  You could also sign up for the State House Skinny email newsletter to be kept in the loop on state legislation affecting young people.

Integrity and trust

At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

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McLane Middleton is made up of more than 105 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

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McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

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McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

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Our team continuously seeks opportunities to enhance their professional development and put key learnings to action. The pursuit of further insight guides us to volunteer service opportunities, speaking engagements, and teaching roles. Our lawyers are sought after thought leaders across their industries, and recipients of leadership awards throughout the region.