by Mike DeBlasi | February 10, 2023 10:20 am
When I think about the many years that I’ve known and worked with Connie — and the numerous people and practice areas she has touched throughout her tenure at Orr & Reno —a couple of things immediately come to mind that characterizes, for me, this remarkable attorney, colleague, and friend.
As Connie departs Orr & Reno and continues her life journey, it’s important to reflect upon her significant impact on the firm — and in the community, she’s called home for almost 40 years.
First, Connie always brings her fierce intelligence and adept legal mind to everything she does. She has excelled at ferreting out — and sometimes blazing — a pathway to resolution in some of the most challenging corporate transactions in the firm’s history. Connie was often called upon to help clients navigate the most complex loan transactions, acquisitions, mergers, and real estate development projects. The more difficult and legally nuanced a transaction, the more we relied on Connie to help us create the most sensible, fair, and realistic path forward.
Connie is also a mission-driven attorney who is deeply committed to improving access to the legal system in New Hampshire. Most notably, she was the founding Executive Director of LARC (Legal Advice & Referral Center) — now 603 Legal Aid — New Hampshire’s statewide hotline legal services program. While at LARC, Connie pioneered numerous advancements in what was, at the time, a new, emerging model for delivering high-quality, free legal services to the people who needed them the most. Her efforts had a stateside and national impact, and under her leadership, LARC became one of the primary providers of legal services in the state.
Connie also worked on several vital NH Bar Association projects through the years, including the Pro Bono Program, a statewide volunteer attorney program; the DOVE Project (Domestic Violence Emergency); and the Legal Referral Service.
At Orr & Reno, Connie has been a member of the firm’s Family Law Group, assisting clients with sensitive legal issues, including separation, divorce, parenting and support disputes, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and other matters. On the corporate side, she has been a valued member of the firm’s Hospitality Group, supporting clients in the acquisition and sales of hotels across the country, and the Energy Group, with a particular commitment to facilitating the development of wind projects, hydroelectric facilities, and other renewable energy projects in New Hampshire.
Connie was able to master voluminous regulatory knowledge and understand the policy dynamics in a wide range of legal areas. She’s been an invaluable team member in many different ways through the years.
I also want to recognize Connie for helping the firm evolve and develop some of the family-friendly workplace policies that have benefitted everyone who works at Orr & Reno. She is an outstanding representative of a pioneering generation of professional women who were challenged to figure out how to have a legal career while raising children. Her leadership and advocacy for part-time, flexible hours — and for supporting associates in creating a healthy work/life balance — have helped shape the firm, and enhanced our reputation for being a good place to practice law.
The second key characteristic that came to mind when thinking about Connie — right after her prodigious intellect — is simply what a delightful human being she is. Connie’s genuine interest in others, her sense of humor, and her ability to “read a room” and find fun in almost any social gathering have brought us some wonderful and memorable moments together through the years.
Farewell, Connie. Thank you. Good luck. We’ll miss you. Stay in touch.
– Peter Burger
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