Programs & Services

The Nebraska State Bar Association is dedicated to strengthening the legal profession, the court system, and the public’s access to legal services. Below is a list of programs that describe how the Nebraska State Bar Association serves these constituencies.

Support the Profession
Nebraska Lawyers Assistance Program (NLAP): Offers help to lawyers, judges and law students troubled by substance abuse, stress, depression and other types of disorders that may have a negative impact on their practice of law as well as their personal lives.
SOLACE: Provides assistance to anyone within the Nebraska legal community who suffers a sudden, catastrophic loss due to an unexpected event, illness or injury through a statewide network of attorneys willing to get involved. SOLACE does not solicit cash, but can assist with contributions of clothing, housing, transportation, medical community contacts, and a myriad of other possible solutions. If you are aware of anyone within the Nebraska legal community (lawyers, law office personnel, judges, courthouse employees or law students) who suffers a sudden, catastrophic loss due to an unexpected event, illness or injury please contact Mike Kinney and/or Liz Neeley.
Fee Arbitration: Provides for expeditious resolution through voluntary arbitration of disputes involving fees charged by attorneys.  It is available to both attorneys and their clients and also provides a forum for voluntary arbitration of fee disputes between attorneys and physicians, stenographers, consultants and expert witnesses.

Seek Counsel of Professional Expertise (SCOPE):  A lawyer-to-lawyer, case-specific information service that provides the opportunity for an attorney who is unfamiliar with a legal area to talk to an attorney who is more experienced and knowledgeable. For additional information, contact Chris Aupperle at (800)-927-0117.

Continuing Legal Education: NSBA provides an annual curriculum of seminars aimed at improving professional knowledge, skill, and overall competence of the members of the NSBA. Seminars are offered throughout the year in a variety of formats (live, webinars, teleconference, etc.)

Legislative Program: In addition to keeping practitioners up to date on changes to the law, the NSBA Legislative Program represents attorneys’ professional interests. For example, in 2014, the NSBA was instrumental in the passage of a bill providing student loan forgiveness for attorneys serving in rural communities with limited access to attorneys.

Leadership Academy: The mission of the academy is to: nurture effective leadership with respect to ethical, professional and community service issues; build relationships among legal leaders from across the state and from across disciplines; raise the level of awareness among lawyers regarding issues facing the legal profession; and enhance the diversity of leaders within the legal profession.

Strengthen the Courts
Judicial Resources Committee: The NSBA proposes, considers and comments on the creation, reduction and relocation of judicial vacancies in the state courts.

Minority Justice Committee: A Joint Committee of the NSC and NSBA established to examine and address issues of racial and ethnic fairness in the courts.

Responding to Unjust Criticism of Judges: Upon request, the NSBA has adopted guidelines for responding when judges are subject to unfair criticism and educates the public on the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary.

Self Help Desks: The Self-Help desks offered through the Volunteer Lawyers Project assists the courts with the increasing number of pro se litigants (currently offered in Buffalo, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster, Madison and Scotts Bluff counties).
Legislative Program: The NSBA Legislative Program supports the Court systems. For example, NSBA lobbying protects the Court’s budgets and advocates for judicial salary increases, works to create new judgeships, helped to establish the Court of Nebraska Court ofAppeals and the merit selection and retention system for judges, etc.

Practice and Procedure Committee: Makes recommendations concerning the betterment of judicial administration in all courts of this State, the improvement of the working conditions and compensation of the members of the judiciary and the evaluation and promotion of an independent and impartial judiciary. The Committee also evaluates the operation of the Nebraska Rules of Evidence (including all proposed changes) in order to determine their adequate operation.
 Support the Public
Volunteer Lawyers Project: Provides legal assistance to low income Nebraskans through its self-help desks and direct case placement with pro bono attorneys.

Judicial Evaluation Poll: A poll taken in even-numbered years by the active NSBA membership which reviews the performance of Nebraska judges both state and federal. Results are mailed to the judges and later a summary is released to the press. NSBA also prepares voters’ guides to the help voters understand judicial retention elections.
Client Assistance Fund:  Established in 1974, the purpose of the Client Assistance Fund is to reimburse a client who has suffered a financial loss due to dishonest attorneys.

Rural Practice Initiative: Expands access to legal services by helping to facilitate the placement of attorneys in underserved communities.