Katherine J. Morneau • 38 • Manchester
January 23. 2018 3:50PM
Family: Husband, Frank, currently in medical school; parents, Dick and Karen Morneau, both retired and living in Littleton; two brothers, Steve and Riley.
High school: Littleton High School
College/post grad degrees: Franklin Pierce University (B.A. Criminal Justice); UNH Law (J.D.)
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Trust your instinct. I was told this as I was deciding on whether to open my own law firm. There were a lot of decisions to make along the way. Any time I strayed from my instinct, it came back to bite me and simply reinforced the advice. You know when something feels right and when it doesn’t; follow that.
Why did you choose your profession?
I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was little. I wanted to help people. After passing the Bar Exam, I found family law to be the most rewarding area of practice where you can have the biggest impact. People come to you at the lowest point in his or her life and you can help them through it. I cannot imagine doing any other type of work.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I feel very humbled to have been able to go to law school and learn how to help people in our very complex legal system. I feel that it is every lawyer’s responsibility to give back and help those in need. I am particularly passionate about helping domestic violence victims, as they have some of the greatest needs for legal help. It is important for me to focus a large part of my pro bono work in that area.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
I would encourage myself to appreciate each class in law school even if you did not see the value in it at the time. You may use something from each class along your journey to help someone. Also, ski more! You will never regret a day on the slopes and it is amazing how it can clear your head.
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
Better public transportation. If we had a train from Boston to Concord, it would draw more young professionals up into the heart of our state and allow them to see just how much we have to offer. Nashua, Manchester and Concord are all amazing cities with great little coffee shops, museums, and offer historical gems to be explored.
What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?
When I turn 40 I’d like to be serving on several local non-profit boards. I currently focus my volunteer work in the legal field and would like to broaden that as I have in the past. I have a passion for music and regularly attend the symphony in Nashua. I also enjoy going to the Currier Museum in Manchester. Nashua also has a growing art community, of which I hope to become an active participant.
What was your last major achievement?
I was a member of the 2017 Nashua Bar Association Committee on the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee. We honored retiring Chief Justice Linda Dalianis. It was such a privilege to work on a documentary and dinner acknowledging her career achievements. She was New Hampshire’s first female Superior Court Judge, first female Supreme Court Justice and first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. As a young female attorney, working with the Nashua Bar to recognize Chief Justice Linda Dalianis and the many glass ceilings she has shattered for us, has been one of the most rewarding achievements of my career.
Volunteer activities: DOVE attorney representing victims of domestic violence obtaining protective orders, Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire co-chair, New Hampshire Lawyer Referral Service committee that oversees program for referrals for modest means representation.