Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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Justice Clarence Thomas to Headline 2011 Roman L. Hruska Institute

Justice ThomasJustice Clarence Thomas, United States Supreme Court, is the 2011 Roman L. Hruska Institute distinguished speaker. At noon on Thursday, September 15, Justice Thomas will deliver a lecture at the University of Nebraska College of Law. The public is invited to attend.

Thomas was born in the Pin Point community of Georgia near Savannah June 23, 1948. He married Virginia Lamp, a Nebraska native, in 1987; he is the father of one child, Jamal Adeen. Thomas attended Conception Seminary and received an A.B., cum laude, from Holy Cross College, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. He was admitted to practice in Missouri in 1974 and served as an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri from 1974-1977, an attorney with the Monsanto Company from 1977-1979, and Legislative Assistant to Senator John Danforth from 1979-1981. From 1981-1982, he served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, and as Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1982-1990.


2011 Edition of Free Reaching the Age of Majority Booklet Now Online

age_of_majority_coverText for the newly revised Reaching the Age of Majority booklet is now posted on the Bar Foundation's website at The booklet is free of charge and available for download in Adobe Acrobat format.

From the same web page, you may request a classroom set of the printed booklet and also request that an attorney or judge make a presentation to your students.

The booklet is a unique resource that can act as a roadmap to help young Nebraskans become good citizens. A recent contribution by Virginia Schmid to the Marvin G. and Virginia C. Schmid Education Endowment made the printed booklet available, at no cost to the schools, for all of the 2011 Nebraska high school graduates.


2011 Mock Trial Case to Be Posted on Foundation Website August 12

Witnesses from Skutt Catholic High School are sworn in at the 2010 State Championship trial.
Registration is now open for the 2011 Nebraska High School Mock Trial season. This year's original case is available on the Bar Foundation's website after 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 12. The case, which involves a civil matter (lawsuit) rather than a criminal matter, may be found at Registration information is also found on this page; the registration deadline is September 9.

For teachers and administrators who might be considering Mock Trial for the first time, we pleased to offer the new Mock Trial podcast, which features highlights from the 2010 State Competition in Lincoln has been posted. The video includes comments from Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom, United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, and Mock Trial team members from around the state discussing the benefits of the program. There is also an excerpt of an interview of Chief Justice Mike Heavican, Nebraska Supreme Court, with KOLN-KGIN Anchor Serese Cole as well as scenes from Mock Trial Trivia, a game enthusiastically played at the annual Mock Trial Banquet. PLEASE NOTE: It is not necessary to have an MP3 player to review the Mock Trial podcast; simply click the arrow and play.


Links to Constitution Day Resources Now Available


This year, Constitution Day, September 17, comes on a Saturday. So, the Bar Foundation is suggesting a celebration on Friday, September 16. To assist teachers and school administrators in preparing for this annual event, the Foundation has posted a listing of Constitution Day Classroom Resources on its website at

Each year, the Bar Foundation and Supreme Court staff travel to a different Nebraska community to provide a program of study about the Constitution. In 2009, the location was Kearney where a Benjamin Franklin re-enactor brought the Constitution to life for elementary and high school classrooms. In 2010, "Alexander Hamilton" appeared in Norfolk in a first-person dialog with middle school students. The theme for these events has been "Founding Fathers."


Foundation’s Legacy of Liberty Breakfast to Recognize LRE Educators

lol_logoOn, Thursday, October 20, the Bar Foundation will host its ninth annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln. At the breakfast, long-term volunteers for the Nebraska High School Mock Trial Project will be recognized, and donors to the program will be acknowledged. Teacher coach for the 2010 Nebraska championship team, Mary Meyer from Skutt Catholic in Omaha, will be given special recognition as will the attorney coaches for the team, Pat Borchers and Judy Borchers.

The new class of Foundation Fellows, whose contributions make the Law Related Education (LRE) programs possible, will be introduced at the breakfast. Silver Quill Award recipients from the University of Nebraska College of Law and Creighton University School of Law will also be announced.


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Law-Related Education