Foundation Facts
May 2013

Here we are, coming right up on Memorial Day weekend once again.  With nicer weather, we'll have cook-outs, camping, boating, ballgames, and all sorts of activities planned for the three-day weekend.  With so much busyness, it is easy to forget the reason we observe Memorial Day.  I hope we all take at least a few moments to be grateful for those who fought for our freedoms and for those who keep us safe today.  They are the ones who created a true Legacy of Liberty.

In the Memorial Day spirit, I commend to you an excerpt from Bryn Carriker's winning Law Day essay. 

I wish you a fun-filled and safe weekend.





Executive Director  


Winning Law Day Essays Address Significance of Patriotic Songs, Symbols, and Holidays  

Student Winners are Recognized in Their Local Communities  

The directive was to "select your favorite patriotic symbol, song, holiday, or activity and explain how analyzing it contributes to the development of better citizens."  Nebraska students in grades 9 - 12 were invited to enter the contest.  One winning essay from each grade level was chosen, and on or near Law Day (May 1) judges and lawyers visited the students' schools to recognize them in front of their peers.

Each student received a personalized portfolio from the Foundation and a $100 gift certificate provided by Cornhusker Bank of Lincoln.  All contest entries were scored by members of the PEOPLE Committee.

9th Grade - Shoilee Rahman, Chadron High School

Judge Russell Harford presented the awards at the Kiwanis Honors Program at the high school auditorium.  He cited Shoilee for her essay that focused on Martin Luther king Jr. Day, reciting from her writing, "Today Dr. King's leadership and activism during the civil rights ear can act as a guide when people deal with issues regarding equality.  Not only do his contributions act as a guide, but they also act as a source of inspiration for those wanting to start a movement geared toward social change." 

10th Grade - Daniel Reynoso, Lexington High School

Judge-Designate Jeffrey Wightman recognized Daniel at the Lexington High School Academic Pep Rally.  Daniel read his essay about The Star Spangled Banner, including the following, "The Star Spangled Banner could definitely bring us closer together and make us better citizens.  Music deeply touches the human soul and it's a song about our great country.  It makes us better citizens because it can make us become more involved in the activities of our country and want to become a more united nation."  Mock Trial attorney coach Jesus Tena contributed to Daniel's recognition at the assembly.

11th Grade - Bryn Carriker, McCook High School 


Judge David Urbom and Foundation Vice President Stan Goodwin visited Bryn's classroom where they celebrated Law Day by focusing on the winning essay.  Bryn chose the picture of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima.  EssayIn her essay, she states, "Clearly, the flag raising on Iwo Jima will always be remembered.  We shall never forget the sacrifice of the lives of soldiers. Because of them, we are able to go to school, work at a job, and do many other things without any major difficulties.  Next time you try to take something for granted, stop yourself.  Take the time to write or visit veterans that are often overlooked and thank them for their service.  You never know what may surprise you."

12th Grade - Linsey Armstrong, Logan View High School

Judge Kenneth Vampola attended Logan View's Academic Recognition Rally and recognized Linsey and presented her with the Law Day awards.  Supreme Court Public Information Officer and I also attended the event.  Linsey chose Veteran's Day as the subject of her essay.  In her writing, she states, "American schools and families have been slowly decreasing the commemorative appreciation and focus on this important holiday.  Veteran's Day should be observed in every community and school, in hopes to reiterate the significance of their sacrifices and to re-instill patriotism in American citizens."

Thank You to the 2013 Law Day Essay Contest Judges
Members of the Bar Foundation's PEOPLE Committee Are Essay Reviewers

The Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court would like to thank the following members of the PEOPLE (Public Education and Outreach Promoting Law and Equity) Committee for reading and scoring this year's Essay Contest entries:

Tom Keefe, Committee Chair
Katherine Hall
Judge Tom Otepka
Larry Karel
Judge Richard Sievers
Judge Jodi Nelson
Judge Frankie Moore
Judge Christopehr Kelly
Judge Todd Hutton
Robin Hadfield
Patrick Borchers
Terry Waite

Judges commented that they especially enjoyed reading this year's essays, which gave the students an opportunity to express their personal thoughts and opinions.
12th Annual Law Day Job Shadowing Activity
Hosts More than 400 Students Statewide

New Communities of Nebraska City, Red Cloud, and Nelson Added

A student bailiff escorts attorney Ben Murray away for contempt of court in a mock trial in Nelson

A big thank you goes to the 2013 Law Day Job Shadowing local coordinators: 
  • Chappell - Deuel County District Court Clerk Polly Olson
  • Kearney - Buffalo County District Court Clerk Sharon Mauler
  • Kimball - Kimball County Clerk Magistrate Michele Woods
  • Nebraska City (Otoe County) Retired Judge Randall Rehmeier, Judge Jeff Funke, County Clerk Magistrate Kari Kuehn, and District Court Clerk Janis Riege 
  • Neligh - Antelope County Judge Donna Taylor
  • Nelson - Nuckolls County Judge Michael Offner and County Clerk Magistrate Diane Wehrman
  • O'Neill - Holt County Clerk Magistrate Laura Reynoldson
  • Pawnee City - Pawnee County Clerk Magistrate LaRita Weber 
  • Red Cloud - Webster County Judge Michael Offner and County Clerk Magistrate Jolene Duffy 

This law-Related Education program is offered in cooperation with the Nebraska Supreme Court and has the goal of encouraging students to work hard and stay in school.  Since the program's statewide inception in 2002, more than 3,000 fifth graders have experienced and an up-close and personal look at the daily activities carried out by legal professionals.   


To see more photos and read about more local Law Day Job Shadowing experiences, search "Nebraska State Bar Foundation" on Facebook.




Give to Lincoln Day Nets $1,525 for Mock Trial State Championship 

Event to Be Held in Lincoln, Dec. 10 and 11

I want to extend a very BIG thank you to all of the Foundation Fellows who contributed on May 16.  All gifts will be used to help cover the cost of meals for two days for the more than 100 students who represent the 12 Mock Trial regions in the state.

Through this special day of giving, the Bar Foundation will receive a proportionate match from a pool of $200,000 offered by the Lincoln Community Foundation.  This year marks the second year the Foundation has participated in the program.  Gifts made to 254 Lincoln-based nonprofits totaled over $2 million.

Donate to the Foundation's Infinity Fund!
Contribute quickly and easily through the Bar Foundation's Website. Give to the Infinity Fund in recognition of the Foundation's 50th anniversary. Or give a general gift, a Legacy of Liberty gift, or leave a bequest. The Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions may be deductible as allowed by law. 

Save the Date - 50th Anniversary Founders Dinner
November 15, 2013 - Embassy Suites - La Vista 

Please plan to join us for an evening of celebrating the lawyers whose vision established the Nebraska State Bar Foundation.  The festivities are planned to be both entertaining and inspirational.  Watch for more information soon.
About the Foundation's Programs
If you have questions about the Foundation's programs of Law-Related Education, please contact me at

1-800-773-5396 or 402-475-1042. 

Nebraska State Bar Foundation
635 S. 14th Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Nebraska State Bar Foundation