Nebraska Lawyers Foundation Kicks Off One Hour of Sharing Campaign
Contributions to the Nebraska Lawyers Foundation support programs like the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), the Nebraska Lawyers Assistance Program (NLAP), the LSAT Prep Scholarship Program, and the Rural Practice Initiative. These programs help support a strong legal profession and help ensure justice for all Nebraskans. This year, through our One Hour of Sharing campaign, we ask that you consider donating the equivalent of one billable hour. Whether you give $10 or $10,000, you can help us tip the scale toward our goal of $50,000 by December 31, 2016. Your gift through the One Hour of Sharing Campaign is an opportunity to help make an impact. You will receive a donation form in the mail this week. You can also donate online via this link: http://www.nebar.com/donations/
- Over 310,000 Nebraskans, or 17% of the state’s population, are income eligible for services from civil legal service providers.
- 20.6% of lawyers nationally report problematic alcohol use and 1 in 4 lawyers are struggling with some level of depression.
- There are 11 counties in Nebraska with no lawyers and 20 more counties with three or fewer lawyers.
- For many first generation college students and other historically underrepresented groups, the cost of an average LSAT Prep Course ($1,600) is beyond their means.
Because of donations from you and other NSBA members...
- Volunteer lawyers helped more than 7,000 persons through VLP programs and activities.
- NLAP provides confidential support, consultation and treatment referral for substance abuse, mental health and other impairments.
- The Rural Practice Initiative has helped place 10 lawyers in rural Nebraska.
- LSAT Prep Diversity Scholarships have been awarded to students demonstrating economic need.
Outstanding Contributor to Women & the Law Award
The Women in the Law Section is seeking nominations for the “Outstanding Contributor to Women and the Law Award.” This award is presented annually and recognizes the lifelong accomplishments of an individual who has directly contributed to the active integration and participation of women in the Nebraska system of justice.
Do you know someone who has been:
- An advocate for women’s issues?
- A pioneering woman in the law?
- A mentor or role model for women in the law?
- Someone who advanced gender equality in the justice system?
To nominate someone, please complete the nomination form and return it to Katie Vogel, Chair, Women and the Law Section, via mail Seiler & Parker, P.C., L.L.O., 726 East Side Blvd., Hastings, NE 68901; via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Fax: (402) 463-3110 by Friday, September 23, 2016.
NetWORKS! – NSBA’s Professional Networking Group
NSBA is offering an easy and enjoyable new way to expand your professional contacts. NetWORKS! will match interested lawyers for one-to-one coffee or lunch every two months. It will be up to the lawyers to schedule a convenient time. This new group is open to all voluntary NSBA members except law students. The primary purpose of the group is to promote the development of collegial professional relationships among group members.
NetWORKS! started with a group in the Omaha area, and will expand to include a Lincoln group early in 2017. Members are also being recruited for a Greater Nebraska group. The Greater Nebraska group will require more initiative by participants, and will be shaped by the number and locations of participants. Any Nebraska lawyer or judge may join any or all of the three geographic groups. NetWORKS! will be free for the rest of this year and likely will have modest dues longer term. Members will be required to complete their NSBA online profiles because the matching software program used to create the matches pulls member data from the profiles.
If you want to sign up for NetWORKS! please contact Lorrie Benson. More details about NetWORKS! are on the NSBA website under Member Info.
New National Study on Attorney Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns
A new, landmark study conducted by the Hazelden - Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs reveals substantial and widespread levels of problem drinking, depression, anxiety and unhealthy stress in the U.S. legal profession.
The comprehensive study of more than 12,000 lawyers found that 21 percent of licensed, employed attorneys qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression and 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety. The study found that younger attorneys in the first 10 years of practice exhibit the highest incidence of these problems. The study compared attorneys with other professionals, including doctors, and determined that lawyers experience alcohol use disorders and mental health distress at a far higher rate than other professional populations.
The study also found that the most common barrier blocking attorneys from seeking help was the fear of others finding out. The study also determined that lawyers who previously had addiction problems fared better utilizing treatment tailored to the legal profession than those who attended programs not tailored to the legal profession.
Fortunately, the Nebraska Lawyers Assistance Program(NLAP) offers help to lawyers, judges and law students troubled by substance abuse problems, cognitive decline, stress, depression and other types of disorders which may impair their ability to perform in a competent and professional manner. For assistance or to make a confidential referral, CALL THE NLAP TOLL-FREE HOTLINE 24HRS, 7 DAYS A WEEK AT (888) 584-6527 (NLAP).
NSBA Establishes New On-Demand CLE Portal
The NSBA provides more than 85 live CLE seminars each year. And while we feel that nothing beats participation in a live seminar, we recognize that live participation is not always possible. Therefore, we are excited to announce that beginning August 18, 2016, the NSBA will begin offering on-demand CLE webinars at www.nebarondemand.com.
What is the difference between a live webcast and an on-demand webinar? Live webcasts are offered on a specific date and time, while on-demand webinars can be downloaded and watched at any time.
The on-demand webinar portal provides seminar materials and the ability to submit questions to the speaker. It will track your progress in completing courses and provide you with a record of the credits you’ve earned. In addition to making distance-learning options more convenient, the on-demand webinar portal will allow lawyers better access to seminars related to their practice areas. For example, if you wanted to attend a seminar sponsored by the NSBA’s Intellectual Property Section, but the date didn’t work into your schedule, you can still participate by viewing the program at your convenience. The NSBA on-demand webinar portal will offer seminars related to most practice areas and will also help you satisfy your requirements for ethics/professional responsibility CLE. For those practicing as guardians ad litem, on-demand programs will also be available to help you meet your requisite hours.
You can view the on-demand library by visiting the NSBA’s website (www.nebar.com) and following the appropriate links or by going directly to www.nebarondemand.com. New programs will be added every month. You will be required to sign-in to the portal. Your log in credentials are the same as those you use to access the main NSBA website.
2016 NSBA Annual Meeting Brochure - New Perspectives
The 116th Annual Meeting of the Nebraska State Bar Association will be held at the Embassy Suites-La Vista Wednesday, October 26, through Friday, October 28, 2016. The theme of this year's meeting is "New Perspectives". This year’s Annual Meeting offers numerous seminars of interest, a number of section and committee breakfasts and meetings, lunches for Creighton, UNL and University of Iowa alumni, In Honor of Your Honors Judges’ Reception, and a OctoBARfest Reception sponsored by the Mercer, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual and the NCDAA. Complete meeting information and online registration are available on the Annual Meeting event page. Space is limited so register early. For up-to-date Annual Meeting information, use our NEW web-based mobile app: https://nsbaam16.sched.org/
Join the Conversation - #NSBAAM16
Rural Practice Initiative Associate and Summer Clerkship Placement Program
In an effort to connect law students and attorneys with firms looking to hire associates or law clerks in greater Nebraska, the Nebraska State Bar Association is conducting a Rural Practice Initiative Interview Event in Norfolk on September 30th. In-person interviews for the clerkship program or associate employment will take place at the Norfolk Country Club on Friday, September 30th from noon - 5:00 pm. The goal is to provide 15-20 minutes for each interview. We estimate that each attorney will have the opportunity to interview at least six attorney/students. Attorneys, students and representatives from law firms will have an additional opportunity to meet and converse at a reception following the formal interviewing session.
If you are interested in hiring and would like to interview at the event, email Sam Clinch at email@example.com If you are interested in interviewing for an associate position or a law clerkship for the summer of 2017, please complete this form and return to Sam Clinch, 635 S 14th St. #200, Lincoln, NE 68508. Please respond by September 16, 2016.
New to Nebraska: Pro Bono Online Starts October 4
Nebraska Free Legal Answers Online
Nebraska Free Legal Answers (NFLA) is part of an American Bar Association National Website that allows lawyers to provide limited scope civil legal advice to low-income Nebraskans who post questions on the Website. For Nebraska attorneys, NFLA removes barriers to doing pro bono work—no more set schedules, long training or travel. And, NFLA provides an opportunity for all qualified lawyers to do pro bono, including transactional, in-house, corporate and government attorneys.
It is easy to get started. You can log in anytime from home or the office—anywhere you have Internet access. This is an exciting, convenient, and rewarding pro bono opportunity where you:
- decide the days and times you want to do pro bono work
- select the questions you want to answer
- give limited scope advice only
- earn pro bono credit for researching/answering questions
- track your pro bono hours
- have NLADA malpractice insurance coverage
VLP needs volunteers from all Nebraska counties to be ready when the Website launches Tuesday, October 4. Contact Carol Cleaver at (402) 742-8127 or VLP@nebar.com to register or obtain more information or to schedule a presentation at your firm or office. Watch an 8-minute YouTube video overview of the Website to see how easy it is to do pro bono online.
NSBA Helping Lawyers Help People Lawyers in the City, Omaha
August 26 Access to Justice for More than 50 Omaha Residents
Friday, August 26, Omaha held its second “Lawyers in the City” event, a community legal service event hosted by the Nebraska State Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project in collaboration with Legal Aid of Nebraska, Midlands Bar Association, and the Omaha Bar Association. Thirty lawyers, paralegals, and students met with 53 low-income residents at the Fort Omaha and South Omaha Metropolitan Community College campuses. Volunteers met with walk-in visitors to provide general advice on select Nebraska law topics, distribute court forms available to the public on the Nebraska Judicial Branch Website, provide legal resources and information, and give referrals to no or low-cost legal service providers. Bilingual attorneys and paralegals translated for Spanish-speaking visitors. Legal Aid of Nebraska conducted onsite intakes for eligible walk-in visitors.
Some of the comments from persons assisted at the event:
I am very grateful for this program. I hope it continues. People need help and they don’t know where to go and here, I am sure others have found guidance like I did. I already started spreading the news.
How awesome! For some who is low-income I can’t express how awesome it is to find free legal advice. I wish that this could happen more often. I know a lot of people who could benefit.
I have never known any agency of this magnitude to come into the areas that have the most unanswered questions and receive the best and the most knowledgeable and qualified personnel. Let this continue, maybe every 3 months. Thank you.
One community organization stakeholder commented, “This was a great event for the community and the organizers and volunteers should be proud of the work they did.”
Plans for another Lawyers in the City event in Omaha later this year are pending. If you are interested in volunteering at the Omaha event or you would like assistance hosting a similar event in your community, contact Carol Cleaver at (402) 742-8127 or VLP@nebar.com.
Volunteer Lawyers Project Activities
Please visit the VLP Attorney Portal to view all VLP-sponsored pro bono opportunities. Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of low-income Nebraskans, who, without your help, are struggling to navigate a complex court system on their own.
Recent Supreme Court Opinions
Week of September 2, 2016
Week of August 26, 2016
For a complete listing of recent opinions, visit the Nebraska Judicial Branch Website.
Save the Date 2017 Barristers' Ball - March 17, 2016
The 2017 Barristers' Ball will be held at the Embassy Suites La Vista on Saturday, March 17, 2016. The theme is Emerald City.
Thank to you all our sponsors.
The Secrets to Success Are Not Secret
By Alexander Y. Benikov, Originally Published in ABA Law Practice Today
In the past, things were different for young lawyers. Making a comfortable living as a lawyer used to be relatively easy. Once you graduated law school and passed the bar, you found a job at a firm. Once in the firm, you worked your way up and made partner, and worked until you could afford to retire. Some lawyers went the government route, where they were also assured of job security for their entire career. Lawyers in solo practice also could build up their client base and make a comfortable living. It used to be that once you graduated law school, you could find some kind of job even if it was not your dream job. Full Article
Does Learning to Code Make You a Better Lawyer?
By Jason Krause, Originally Published in ABA Journal
When V. David Zvenyach was general counsel for the Council of the District of Columbia, a local activist named Tom MacWright asked for help making the Code of the District of Columbia accessible to the public online. Zvenyach thought it was a simple request—until he took a look at the actual law, which was nearly impossible to work with due to copyright and formatting complications. Full Article
ABA Retirement Funds*: Solo & Small Firm Plans
It doesn’t take a superhero to set up a retirement plan Over the past 50 years, the ABA Retirement Funds Program has helped thousands of attorneys set up a retirement plan for themselves and their small firm.
Getting Started is Easy... The Program can help you through 4 simple steps to get started. Each step only takes a few minutes and the entire process can be completed in as little as 2 weeks! More information
No Cost to Your Firm... Your firm will never get an invoice from the Program1. By leveraging the size of the legal community and with over $5 billion in assets2, the Program is able to minimize all firm-level set-up and on-going administrative expenses.
No Firm is too Small... One person is enough to have a 401(k) plan. Over 60% of the Program’s clients are solo or small firms2. Get more program information here.
*ABA Retirement Funds is a NSBA Endorsed Member Benefit