Omaha Law Day 2014
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.
As we approach the 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 2014 Law Day theme, American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters, calls on every American to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges we still face in ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.
Law Day in Omaha is celebrated on Friday, May 9, 2014 with a lunch event. However, Law Day related events take place in the community before, during, and after the lunch.
Law Day Events:
- Mock Trial
- Lawyers in the Classroom
- Law Day Poster Contest
- Law Day Essay Contest
- OBA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: D.C. "Woody" Bradford
- OBA Robert M. Spire Public Service Award Recipient: Legal Aid of Nebraska
- OBA Public Service Award Recipient: Women's Center for Advancement
- Law Day Lunch Speaker: Former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub
Plaintiff Humpty Dumpty looking "poached" as
he hears the jury's verdict in favor of the defendant,
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 John Menicucci 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 120 entries were received. The winning poster was made by Jordyn Pratt-Laue of Pine Creek Elementary School. Jordyn's poster is on display for the month of May on a billboard on the south side of Dodge Road at approximately 78th Street.
1st Place - Jordyn Pratt-Laue
2nd Place - Macy Byars
3rd Place - Olivia Brandts
The Law Day Essay Contest was open to 8th graders, and the Omaha Legal Professionals Association coordinated the judging of the essays. More than 130 entries were received, and the winning essay was written by Patrick Hickey from St. Cecilia's School.
"Why Every Vote Matters" by Patrick Hickey
As the U.S. presidential election nears, many television and radio commercials urge the public to vote for certain candidates. Many people believe that their vote is so insignificant that it doesn't matter whether they vote or not. However, this is not true. This is a right that many people did not officially have until 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 permitted any U.S. citizen to vote, no matter what race or color. The act enforced the 15th Amendment.
Today many U.S. citizens practice their right to vote. A majority of these voters are women. In the election of 2012, 55% of women voted for President Obama and only 44% of women voted for Mitt Romney. This significant difference may have been one of the key factors in President Obama's reelection. In the Presidential election of 2012, exit polls reveal that 71% of Hispanics voted for President Obama, and a whopping 93% of African Americans voted for him as well. These high percentages of minorities were a key factor in President Obama's reelection.
By observing and analyzing these facts, you can conclude that every vote matters. Remember, this is your right; many people of all races did not have this right for many years. You are also helping our nation make its most important decisions that could just change the history of the United State of America forever.
OBA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: D.C. "Woody" Bradford
OBA Robert M. Spire Public Service Award Recipient: Legal Aid of Nebraska
OBA Public Service Award Recipient: Women's Center for Advancement
Law Day Lunch Speaker: Former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub