NHLA Welcomes New Staff Attorneys for 2023Posted Feb 17, 2023
There are some new faces at New Hampshire Legal Assistance in 2023. Our team is thrilled to welcome attorneys Jonathan Teller-Elsberg and Elyssa Willadsen to our dedicated staff.
Jonathan will be representing NHLA at our medical legal partnership with Dartmouth Health and TLC Family Resource Center in Claremont. Meanwhile, Elyssa joins NHLA’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Project and will be based in the Concord branch office.
“I want to practice law that has a social mission aspect,” said Jonathan. “When I decided to move on from a local general practice where I was doing family law, I found the medical legal partnership position with NHLA. I had never heard of a medical legal partnership before. I was very intrigued.”
As NHLA’s medical legal partnership staff attorney, Jonathan will work with patients of Dartmouth Health’s Moms in Recovery program in Lebanon and the TLC Family Resource Center in Claremont to provide legal education, legal advice, and representation to parents with children 5 years of age or younger.
“For someone getting substance use disorder treatment, their ability to stick with treatment is going to be affected by how stable the rest of their life is,” he explained. “If someone is going through an eviction, or is having trouble accessing benefits, we can help them with that so that they can focus on completing their treatment program.”
Living and working in rural communities, Elyssa also saw the need to close the access to justice gap in areas where legal resources are hard to find or difficult to afford, particularly regarding domestic violence. She interned with the South Royalton Legal Clinic in Vermont and Have Justice Will Travel, a mobile, multi-service program that assists victims of domestic abuse through the legal process.
“I think people underestimate how pervasive an issue domestic violence is and this leads to little discussion about it within communities,” she said.
In addition to helping clients with divorce cases and parenting plans, Elyssa is eager to participate in NHLA’s new domestic violence clinic being held weekly in Manchester.
“The clinic is an awesome new project that will provide an invaluable service to survivors and their families,” she said. “NHLA has such a great reputation for providing stellar legal services. I hope to carry on its legacy.”