Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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PEOPLE Committee History

LRE History

In 1998 – Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) requested that the Nebraska State Bar Foundation (Foundation) assume all of the $100,000+ Law-Related Education (LRE) programs.

Foundation Board had a retreat and determined that LRE fits within its mission and cooperatively agrees to assume all the administrative and financial responsibilities of the LRE programs.

Foundation changed from a grant-making organization to a programmatic organization.

Created LRE programs in cooperation with the Supreme Court: Law Day Essay Contest, Law Day Job Shadowing and Constitution Day.

Foundation added LRE programs as funding (Federal or otherwise) permits, e.g. We The People: The Citizen & the Constitution (WTP:CTC) is funded by Federal funds.

Foundation responded to national organizations requests to offer specific programming (e.g. Center for Civic Education requested the Foundation assume the administrative duties of the WTP:CTC program).

Judicial Outreach History

In the 1980’s the Supreme Court began the Mock Trial program for high school students. After the initial couple of years, the Court gave the program to the NSBA under the direction of Law-Related Education Director, Tom Keefe. The program was institutionalized across the state and several complimentary programs were added.

The Office of the State Court Administrator participated in very little LRE until approached by the Bar Foundation to co-sponsor Law Day programming. Following the Law Day Essay Contest success, the Court and Foundation expanded the program with the 5th grade Job Shadowing and Constitution Day programs.

Local trial courts remained active in mock trials, county government day and other youth outreach programs throughout the administrative changes.

Current community programs endorsed and supported by the judicial branch:
  • Press (reporter) education
  • Law Day Essay Contest
  • 5th Grade Job Shadowing
  • Constitution Day
Various program-specific and general educational materials continue to be written and distributed. Occasionally, one-time specialty programs such as “Year of the Juror” programs are developed.

Studies are showing that an increasing number of Americans report that their knowledge of the court system comes from the media, specifically from television news. Those who report that their knowledge was gained through the education system has correspondingly declined. The lack of knowledge is reflected in the work of both reporters and editors.

Law-Related Education