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1983 NSBA News 1 (1983)

handle is hein.barjournals/neblwr1983 and id is 1 raw text is: NSBA News

Issue 83-1  Feb. 1983

Consumer's Guide offered-
Local bars sponsor public awareness seminars

A series of pul)blic awareness
seminars about the law and the
legal pirofession will be held in six
Nebraska communities beginning in
mid-March. Sponsored by local bai'
associations in each area, the
seminars will be held in North Platte,
Ogallala, Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Falls
City and Ilebron.
The NSBA is piroviding organiza-
tional supplort anl Will assist with
the piomnotional efforts for each
seminar, but each local association is
responsible foI' the planning, content
and presentation of their seminar.
The public awareness seminalr con-
cept is palrt of President Ted
Kessner's program of encouraging in-
creased attorney involvement in the
local community. Each pirogram will
begin with a brief opening statement
fronn the program chairman,
followed by l)up to six piesentations
on various areas of law, a question
and answer session involving the au-
dlience and the lawyers, and a closing
'An opportunity to
demonstrate our pride
in our profession'
The progiai will emphasize the in-
dividual's rights and responsibilities
in the legal system, howv to choose a
lawyer and what to expect in the
attorney-client relationship, and basic
information about several substantive
areas of law including law and the
consumer, housing, family law, prop-
erty rights and others.
The seminairs will piovide the
public with valuable information

about tihe law anc the legal piofes-
sion, Kessner says. They will also
give attorneys and judges throughout
the state an  Olo'tunity to
demonstrate their pridle in the legal
profession and their concern that the
public become eduncated about these
important legal concepts.
A new publication from the NSBA,
a Consumer's Guide to Nebraska
Law, %Vill be unveiled at the
seminars. 'the publication, covering
many areas of the legal system, is
currently in Ioduction. Printing and
IodLIction costs are being paid by
tie Nebraska State Bar Foundation
and the Lincoln Founlation to allow
the fr'ee distribution of up to 20,000
copies of the 28-page guide. Initially,
copies of the gutide will be available
only through the putblic awareness

The NSBA Legal Services Lawyer
Referral program, which has been
leluged with calls since its official
opening December 1, has been
selected to receive a $12,000 grant
frnom the American Bar Association
Consortium on Legal Services and
the Public. The grant will be used to
help offset the administrati\,e costs of
the program.
Public response to the new Iwo-
gram, which offers free or iecluced-
cost legal assistance to individluals
who need assistance with a civil mat-
ter but cannot afford it, has been so
great that some adjustments have
alreatly been made in the program's
opeIations. According to Program
Coordinator Patt Ilays, the In-WATS
line which has been set Up to allow
clients to call toll-fi'ee fi'om
anywhere in the state is now being

Local llanning chairmen for the in-
itial series of six seminars ar'e:
North Platte-Steve Kay
Ogallala-Richai d Roberts
Scottshluff-Jin EllisoII and
Judge Glenn Camerer
Falls City-Richard Halbert
I lebron-Lyle Koenig
Norfolk-Judge Richard
As an example of the innovative
ideas coming from the local planning
chairmen for the seminars, the Falls
City progr'am will be a four-county
effort incorporating the entire First
Judicial District. The piogiram will be
combined with the finals of the First
Distiict Mock Trial Competition to
bring both adults and students
together for a lea'ning exper'ience
about the law, cour't procedure and
the legal profession.

answerecl only f'om 9:00 am.-Noon,
Monday through Friday. This gives
Patt the afternoon houi's to set up
referrals and handle the cor-
n'espondence anti other paperwork
necessary for her office.
500 call
In the first three months of the
pirogriam, neamly 500 calls were
received in the NSBA office. Of these,
284 constituted cases acceptable for'
referral. The vast majority of the
cases accepted-171 of 284-involve
ciivorce, child Sul)l)ort or custody and
visitation rights. Other types of cases
involve bankruptcy, immigr'ation
luestions, landlord-tenant, emlploy-
ment and others.
Most of the cases (208 of 284) are
being meferred as pro bono cases,
though 13 flI-fee referrals have
(continued on page 2)

Referral service receives $12,000
grant; divorce calls predominate

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