Once a year, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the New Hampshire Bar Association give the Bruce E. Friedman Pro Bono award to a UNH alumnus or alumna and New Hampshire Bar member. The award is given to an individual “who has made significant and exemplary contributions to the delivery of volunteer legal services to the vulnerable and those who need it most,” as the New Hampshire Bar Association states.
Bruce E. Friedman founded the civil practice clinic at UNH and was an icon for his work in civil legal services in New Hampshire. Those individuals who are presented with the award embody Friedman’s value, diligence, and hard work within the world of civil law.
On Oct. 25, attorney Kirk Simoneau received the 2018 Bruce E. Friedman Pro Bono Award for his dedication and hard work while assisting victims of domestic violence. Simoneau has spent countless hours working to give people peace of mind through Domestic Violence Ended (DOVE), an organization that provides services and support for victims of domestic violence and their children. His introduction as a member of DOVE came with a precedent that expanded the available protections for victims of domestic violence at final protective-order hearings.
Simoneau volunteers readily for DOVE, taking as many cases as he can and representing numerous clients. He also teaches classes on the best ways to represent these types of cases and has mentored dozens of fellow attorneys. Simoneau takes his work seriously, ensuring that his clients receive ideal care for their individual situations.
After telling his family he was receiving this award, his daughters wished to congratulate him.
Simoneau says, “Later, when I got home, the kidshad a cake that read, ‘Congrats, Dad, you’re thebest at domestic violence!’ I’m not quite sure they got it. I’m also concerned about that bakery.”