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.
Law Day in Omaha is celebrated on Friday, May 1, 2020.
more than 30 years, the Omaha Bar Association has proudly celebrated
Law Day, and worked to bring together all parts of the Omaha area legal
community to give proper recognition to the importance of the Rule of
Law in the United States. Our traditional lunch celebration has been
scuttled this year, due to COVID-19 precautions.
The Law Day Poster Contest is adjudicated by the Nebraska Paralegal Association. The contest was open to Omaha area 5th graders. The winning poster has been put on display for the month of May on a billboard on the south side of Dodge Road at approximately 78th Street.1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will receive cash prizes from the Omaha Bar Association.
The winning poster on the billboard:
Below are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Posters from 2020 Law Day. (CLICK ON POSTER FOR FULL SIZED VERSION)
1st Place - Ethen Henkel (Anchor Pointe; Teacher: Mrs. Cannon)
2nd Place - Trina Schroeder (Anchor Pointe; Teacher: Mrs. Cannon)
3rd Place - Aisha Mar Macossay (Anchor Pointe; Teacher: Mrs. Cannon)
The Law Day Essay Contest is open to all Omaha area 8th graders, and the Omaha Legal Professionals Association coordinates the judging of the essays. Essays are limited to 250 words, and shall discuss the 2020 Law Day Theme of the 19th Amendment at 100. The winning essay will be published in the OBA Newsletter, online, and potentially in The
Daily Record newspaper.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will receive cash prizes from the Omaha Bar Association.
Below is the winning essay from 2020 Law Day.
"The 19th Amendment and the Fight It Took" by Kenadie Rudloff (St. Pius / St. Leo; Teacher: Greg Gorski)
“No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.” This is a quote from Susan B. Anthony, a women’s rights activist during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She, like many other women at the time, was fighting for equality in voting. They found it was time to modernize the Constitution. Suffrage was not handed to women; they were forced to earn it while living in a country dominated by men. Their strength through hardships allows me to have a voice in our present-day government.
While fighting for their suffrage, women had to work to even be noticed. There were marches, political statements, and fires that were burned in front of the White House. Protests like these lasted for over six months, with most ending in violence. Women protestors were arrested, beaten, and thrown into cells, with some shackled to doors, then being force fed. Even through all of this, these women persisted. Ultimately, Congress realized that they needed to amend the Constitution. On August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, finally giving women the right to vote.
Without these brave women, I would not have the freedom and the rights that I have today. Because of their effort, I get to vote. I get to participate in politics. I have a voice. Their struggles are my success, and I am eternally grateful.
Established in 1996, Nebraska Appleseed’s mission is to remove barriers to justice and opportunity in Nebraska, through a multi-pronged approach of community organizing and engagement, close work with state agencies and offices, public policy advocacy, and—when necessary—legal action in class action lawsuits and lawsuits against state entities. As stated on their website, “We take a systemic approach to complex issues – such as child welfare, immigration policy, affordable health care and poverty – and we take our work wherever we believe we can do the most good, whether that’s in the courthouse, at the Capitol, or in the community.”
The OBA recognizes that Nebraska Appleseed’s efforts have changed the lives for hundreds of thousands (and counting) of Nebraskans through their tireless advocacy and community organizing. The principle of using the law in ways to assist those without the means to afford an attorney otherwise is one that Nebraska Appleseed shares with the award namesake, Bob Spire.
The OBA chat virtually via Zoom recently, in the lead up to Law Day, with Becky Gould - Executive Director of Nebraska Appleseed, Robbie McEwen – Legal Director, James Goddard - Programs Senior Director, and Sarah Helvey - Director of the Child Welfare Program. The video can be watched below:
In 1920, 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was ratified by the necessary 36th state legislature, Tennessee, by one vote, enfranchising 26 million women that had previously not been allowed to vote. The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, was founded in 1920 as a direct result of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Education of the new large group of voters was the mission from the start; League members worked to help all voters become educated about current issues so they would be informed and active participants in democracy. Today, there are over 900 state and local Leagues in all 50 states, in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. League of Women Voters membership is open to any person who subscribes to the purposes and policies of the League.
Over the League’s 100 year history, the organization—in addition to its role of educator of voters, has continued the push for greater access to voting rights, and fighting against voter suppression, gerrymandering of legislative districts, and the influence of money in politics. The League’s Nebraska chapter works to register voters, coordinate debates among candidates for public office, and release a non-partisan guide to candidates’ positions on key issues. To obtain the guide for your voting district, go to www.vote411.org.
The OBA Public Service Award is presented to a non-attorney person or organization. The criteria under consideration for the award includes: (1) The public's knowledge of the law or the legal system has been enhanced in some significant way by the recipient's efforts; (2) The recipient has focused on providing service to the community for purposes other than pecuniary profits; and (3) The recipient has demonstrated long term commitment to the enhancement of the public's knowledge of the law.
In a video interview posted on the OBA’s social media accounts, the current leaders of the League of Women Voters of Nebraska made it clear that work is still left to be done, and the League is up to the challenge. The OBA is grateful to Dr. Dianne Bystrom, Linda Duckworth, and MaryLee Moulton for chatting about the work of the League here in Nebraska. Watch the video below:
Three attorneys are recipients of the 2020 Alfred G. Ellick Lawyer Referral Service Award. Established at the 2015 Law Day, the Award is presented to those attorneys who have been a part of the OBA’s Lawyer Referral Service for 10 or more years, as a recognition to their longstanding dedication to the service.
The award is named after Alfred G. Ellick, who, in 1962, during the year of his presidency of the OBA, established the OBA Lawyer Referral Service. 58 years later, the LRS continues to be a cornerstone of the Omaha Bar Association’s commitment to public service by its attorneys.
Please join us in congratulating the following attorneys on their accomplishment!
In August 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by the 36th state legislature (Tennessee), and establishing in the Constitution that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied
or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
Now, 100 years later, we look back at the history of the work to pass that Amendment, and where things stand today.
Dr. Dianne Bystrom, Professor Emeritus at Iowa State University, was scheduled to be our Law Day Luncheon speaker on this topic. With the cancellation of the lunch, Dr. Bystrom agreed to record her speech and let us post it for viewing by members of the legal community and the public. The video is approximately 15 minutes long. If you have time, please watch: