Q&A with Elise H. Salek of Sulloway & Hollis, PLLC

Specializing in tax law




Photo by Jodie Andruskevich

What or who inspired you to become a lawyer?

My grandfather. He spent his career serving the citizens of Coos County as a lawyer and a judge. He was a counselor in the true sense of that word, offering advice and help to whoever needed it, regardless of their ability to pay. Today, 35 years after his death, I continue to hear stories from his former clients (some of whom I’m now privileged to work with) about all the wonderful, unheralded things he did for his community.  

The most pressing issue facing the legal profession?

The lack of appropriate funding for the judicial branch. Most of my work involves dealing with the circuit court’s probate division, where fiscal constraints and the lack of experienced judges are already causing significant delays in the administration of estates and in the issuance of routine court orders. New Hampshire has now positioned itself, via recent amendments to its trust laws, as one of the most trust-friendly jurisdictions in the country.  However, without proper financial support from our Legislature, our probate courts will be unable to handle the volume of trust litigation that we anticipate.

Your favorite fictional lawyer and why?

Portia from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” I love this play because it is all about dead hand control and Portia’s father’s desire to control his daughter’s choices from the grave. Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and judge, and succeeds in exploiting the loopholes in her father’s will to dispense justice to her suitors and to the infamous Shylock. 

What do you like to do outside of the office?

 I guess you could say that in my spare time I enjoy reading (non-tax materials only!) and spending time outdoors.  I occasionally succeed in combining these two extracurricular activities by reading outdoors on the Statehouse lawn when it’s not too chaotic at the office.

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