Omaha Law Day 2013
Law day is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in this democracy and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.
The year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Law Day theme "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All" highlights the important anniversary.
Law Day in Omaha is celebrated on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 with a lunch event. However, Law Day related events take place in the community before, during, and after the lunch.
Law Day Events:
From April 15 to May 3, over 40 attorneys in the Omaha area visited the classrooms of more than 1200 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. Thank you to Brandon Dickerson and Torri Criger for coordinating the efforts.
The Law Day Poster Contest was adjudicated by the Nebraska Paralegals Association. The contest was open to 5th graders, and more than 130 entries were received. The winning poster was made by Emily Nguyen of St. James/Seton. Ms. Nguyen's poster is on display for the month of May on a billboard on the south side of Dodge Road at approximately 78th Street.
The Law Day Essay Contest was open to 8th graders, and the Omaha Legal Professionals Association coordinated the judging of the essays. More than 50 entries were received, and the winning essay was written by Kathryn Johnson from Brownell-Talbot.
"Lady Justice" by Kathryn Johnson
I stand erect. The scales I hold tip dangerously to one side. The sudden weight takes me by surprise and I shift, so the scales are once again balanced. Then, just as suddenly as the weight came, it is gone – but quickly replaced by more. These scales seem to bear the weight of thousands of men. I take my time, perfectly equaling the two before letting them slip off. I blink my eyes behind my blindfold, yet all I see is total darkness – nothing seeps into the dark velvet. I sense the final pair slowly settle onto the scales and I flawlessly balance them. I sigh, feeling the weight slip off and the scales teeter back and forth until they settle gently. As I slowly take off my blindfold, the glare of the dazzling sun behind me. I blink a few times, gaining my bearings. I turn my head to the side, surveying my work. Side by side, the pairs stand, all shoulder to shoulder, all equal. A poor old man steady with a prominent businessman. A black man level to a white man. An underprivileged girl holders her head high next to a rich man. And finally, the last in the line, stands a humble Jewish woman, parallel to a proud Christian woman. This is the dream. This is equality. I am Lady Justice, I am righteous, I am tolerant, I am the dream.
The American Bar Association's theme for Law Day 2013 is "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All." In connection with that theme, Senator Amanda McGill (District 26) will speak at the Omaha Bar Association's Law Day 2013 luncheon regarding the measures needed to strengthen laws pertaining to human trafficking, including laws involving minors as victims and prostitution. Human trafficking impacts an estimated 27 million people worldwide, and is currently impacting hundreds of Nebraskans daily.
The ABA has produced a powerful 7 minute video about human trafficking, which can be viewed at http://www.abanow.org/2013/02/voices-for-victims-lawyers-against-human-trafficking/.