On May 1, hundreds of fifth graders around the state of Nebraska attended Law Day Job Shadowing 2019 events. This marks the 19th year that Law Day has been celebrated in Nebraska and to date over 6,000 students have participated.
Law Day Job Shadowing is an annual cooperative program of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court conducted on or near Law Day, May 1.
Law Day Job Shadowing Events Highlights
Hamilton County District Court hosted their first Law Day Job Shadowing event and it included a mock trial and time spent with Judge Bauer, Judge Senff, Clerk of the District Court Wendy Defthels, Deputy County Attorney Ben Dennis and Official Court Reporte Julie Bellis.
Holt County Courthouse Law Day Job Shadowing included speaking with the County Attorney and Court Reporter, visiting with the O’Neill Chief of Police, a mock trial of Little Red Riding Hood and tour of dispatch and the jail. The students filled out evaluations from their day and their answers for the question “What surprised you most about what you learned, heard or observed?” showed how much they were amazed by the skills of Court Reporter, Kami Hooey. Below are a few of the answers from students.
- Elizabeth-“How Kami could type on her recording machine. There was no labels for the letters and there was only twenty one keys!”
- Felycia-“Her typing machine.”
- Destini-“What surprised me most was that their jobs were a lot harder than they look.”
Webster County Courthouse started their day with an explanation of Law Day Shadowing followed by discussing jobs, a mock arraignment, a mock trial and a visit to the sheriff’s office. The Nebraska State Patrol provided alcohol impaired glasses for the children to try on and try to complete simple tasks. The discussion about alcohol and drug-related crimes is a testament as to why Law Day Job Shadowing exists. Multiple students wrote about their surprise at how many crimes involve drugs and alcohol. When asked “Which part of the job were of interest to you?” students wrote the following:
- Daymon- “State Patrol-when we go to tell how it is to be under drugs and alcohol to convince us that we shouldn’t do drugs and alcohol.”
- Jose- “Sheriff because they tell us about like what they do and to not do bad stuff.”
- Jaxon-“State Patrol because the goggles you gave me to not do drugs and alcohol.”
- Elyse-“Attorney-I liked how they defended their clients. I would like to do this so I could prevent an innocent person from being guilty.”
- Jerzie-“Judge because I would get to help and say the rights to the prisoner.”
- Olivia-“Being a judge sounds okay because you get to debate what happens to the criminal, listen, have patience, and help to have justice.”
- Lillian-“Lawyer because you will fight to see if you can claim justice for your person.”
A big thank you to all of the volunteers who make this day possible.
- Antelope County, organizer: Judge Donna Taylor and Linda Mitchell . Volunteers: Pat Carney, Joe Abler and Martin V. Klein
- Buffalo County District Court, organizer: Sharon Mauler. Volunteers: Sharon Mauler, Judge John Marsh and Judge Ryan Carson.
- Cass County, organizer: Judge Michael Smith. Volunteers: County Attorney, Public Defender and Sheriff.
- Hamilton County District Court, organizer: Judge Rachel Daugherty. Volunteers: Judge Rachel Daugherty, Judge Linda Senff, District Court Clerk Wendy Dethlefs.
- Holt County Courthouse, organizer: Laura Reynoldson. Volunteers: Judge Kale Burdick, Clerk Magistrate Laura Reynoldson, Court Reporter Kami Hooey, Attorneys Forrest Peetz and Ashley Boettcher, O’Neill Chief of Police Matt Otte, Holt County Sheriff Deputy Ed Nordby, Jailer & Dispatcher
- Kimball County Courthouse, organizer: Michele Woods. Volunteers: Judge Randin Roland, Clerk Magistrate Michele Woods, County Attorney David Wilson, Public Defender Stacy Bach, Probation Officer Taylor Schmid, Kimball District Court Clerk Deb Diemoz, Kimball County Sheriff's Office, Kimball County Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Bryan Woods, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Brent Pothoff with K9 Amos.
- Nuckolls County Courtroom, organizers: Diane Wehrman & Judge Michael Burns. Volunteers: Judge Michael Burns, Diane Wehrman, County Attorney John Hodge, Patrick Ryan, State Patrol, Nuckolls County Law Enforcement.
- Pawnee County Courthouse, organizer: LaRita Weber. Volunteers: Judge Curtis Maschman, Pawnee County Attorney Jennifer Stehlik Ladman, Attorney Diane Merwin, Sheriff Jayme Reed and high school students from Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer School.
- Saline County Courthouse, organizer: Judge Linda Bauer. Volunteers: Clerk Magistrate Josh McDougall, County Attorney Tad Eickman, Public Defender Scott Gropp, Saline County Sheriff's Office, County Court staff.
- Sarpy County Court, organizer: Judge Stefanie Martinez. Volunteers: Asst Public Defender Chris Lathrop, Public Defender Tom Strigenz, Deputy County Attorney John Reisz, Deputy County Attorney Ben Perlman, Sgt. Kevin Krecklow, Deputy Letha Feeney, Victim Witness Jean Brazda, Manny the therapy dog, Alternate Public Defender James Scharff, Deputy Melvin Tague, 911 operator Susie Engberg.
- Webster County Courthouse, organizers: Judge Michael Burns & Jolene Duffy. Volunteers: County Attorney Sara Bockstadter, Sheriff Troy Schmitz, Attorney Don Theobald, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Mike Heikkinen
*All student quotes are exactly as written on their evaluations, please excuse any spelling and grammar errors.
Questions about how to participate in Law Day Job Shadowing in 2020? Contact the Nebraska State Bar Foundation at 402-475-1042 or by emailing mary [at] nebarfnd.org.