Departure comes after two years with the organization, Attorney Steven Scudder to become interim exec. dir.
On March 2, 2023, Sonya Bellafant departed her role as executive director of 603 Legal Aid. Bellafant says she plans to take some time for self-care and re-centering.
“It has been an incredible opportunity here, but it has also been a very heavy lift,” Bellafant says. “It’s taken more of a toll on me physically and mentally than I had expected. So, I think it’s time for me to be recenter and refocus before I feel like I am capable of being a leader somewhere else.”
Bellafant joined 603 Legal Aid (603LA) in May 2021, as its first executive director, when the NHBA Pro Bono Referral Program and Legal Advice and Referral Center merged, and she was later admitted to practicing law in New Hampshire in November that same year.
Prior to 603LA, Bellafant was the project manager for the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee in Nashville, Tenn. There, she directed a statewide project to help seniors identify and resolve core legal issues.
Under Bellafant’s leadership, 603LA has grown exponentially.
“One of the things I think I’m most proud of is increasing the visibility of 603 Legal Aid and the amazing work that the team here does,” Bellafant says. “We’ve done a really good job of letting people know exactly what 603 Legal Aid does and how successful they are at doing it.”
During her time at 603LA, Bellafant secured a new phone system that allows the call center to be more effective