Lincoln, Neb. (September 15, 2020) – An updated and refreshed “Reaching the Age of Majority” resource for high school and college-age students is now available online at the Nebraska State Bar Foundation website, https://www.nebarfnd.org/civics-education/age-majority. The online-only resource, which is underwritten by the Foundation, was first published in 1994. More than 200,000 copies have been distributed since then.
“The latest edition of this essential publication will be available exclusively online, given the increased use, convenience and popularity of online resources,” said Doris Huffman, executive director of the Bar Foundation. “The advantage of an online publication is its 24-7 availability and its easy access from anywhere. The resource is attractively presented, and individual pages or chapters easily can be printed from the website,” she said.
“This has been a major undertaking, involving many judges, attorneys and public agencies. We appreciate the time, attention and expertise each volunteer gave to this project,” Huffman said. “The information is timely and invaluable to young people who are about to assume new rights and responsibilities as adults.”
The information was reviewed and edited by 20 Nebraska lawyers, as well as representatives of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office, the Nebraska Department of Insurance and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The 39-page resource includes chapters on subjects ranging from alcohol to wills. Among the topics addressed are banking, consumer protection, contracts, drugs, immigration, insurance, jury duty, landlord/tenant law, pets, voting, water sports and weapons. Chapters also discuss cell phones, internet safety, search and seizure, sex crimes, sexting and technology.
Steve Guenzel, president of the Bar Foundation, said the “Reaching the Age of Majority” resource is not intended to serve as legal advice; however, it is designed to inform young people of their rights and responsibilities as they reach adulthood. The booklet points out that in Nebraska, young people are considered adults for most purposes when they reach age 19. Some rights and responsibilities like applying for credit and voting, however, apply to 18-year-olds.
“The information is invaluable for young people. We encourage high schools, four- and two-year colleges and community organizations to share the resource with young people and their parents. The information is provided in an easy-to-read format and addresses key topics of particular interest to young people. It is information all young people need to know,” Guenzel said.
In addition to “Reaching the Age of Majority,” another helpful tool on the Nebraska Bar Foundation website is a list of Civics Education resources with brief descriptions and links. The resources support the Foundation’s 2020 theme, “Educate to Engage: Citizenship through Civics.”
The website list includes 14 Nebraska resources and 36 national resources, along with links to the 19 Educational Service Units in the state. All organizations and agencies listed offer civics education programs and services.
National resources include iCivics, National Council for the Social Studies, Center for Civic Education, Annenberg Classroom and PBS Newshour Extra. The complete list can be found at https://www.nebarfnd.org/civics-education/civics-education-overview.
The Nebraska State Bar Foundation was incorporated in 1963 as a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization to serve as the philanthropic arm of Nebraska’s legal profession.