The Nebraska Lawyers Foundation: Minority Justice Committee
The Minority Justice Committee, a joint effort of the Nebraska State Bar Association and the Nebraska Supreme Court, was established to examine and address issues of racial and ethnic fairness in the courts and legal profession.
The mission of the Committee is to achieve three primary aims:
- promote diversity in the legal profession and court workforce
- ensure equal access to the justice system
- address racial disparities in the criminal justice system
Contributions to the Nebraska Lawyers Foundation support the work of the Minority Justice Committee. Below are a few examples of the types of activities your contributions fund:
LSAT Prep Scholarship Program
The Committee works to expand the pipeline of diverse law school applicants. The LSAT Prep Scholarship Program provides a scholarship for a Kaplan LSAT Prep Course covers the costs of registering for the LSAT exam for recipients who are historically underrepresented in Nebraska's law schools, demonstrate economic need, and reside in Nebraska.
The number of scholarships awarded annually is dependent on charitable contributions. The scholarship program reaches both traditional and non-traditional students from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. On average, students achieve a seven point increase on their LSAT exam score.
LSAT Prep Scholarship Application Instruction Sheet
"The LSAT Prep Scholarship provided me not only with financial assistance, but also with a sense of mental readiness for the LSAT this fall. While I can add up the numbers to figure out all of the costs the scholarship covered, I cannot fully express my appreciation for the opportunities it has provided to me and other students of color." - LSAT Prep Scholarship Recipient
The Committee works to ensure that juries are representative of their communities. Historically there was no statutory requirement for counties to periodically update their jury pool lists. Because of this, there were counties in Nebraska that had not updated their jury pool lists anywhere from 5-20 years.
The Task Force's study revealed numerous problems regarding the availability and quality of language interpreters (e.g., an instance where an accused batterer served as the interpreter for a victim of domestic violence). At the request of the Committee, the Nebraska Supreme Court adopted new rules to improve the quality and availability of court interpreter services regarding court interpreters.
2012 Legal Diversity Summit
In an effort to encourage diversity and awareness among lawyers, judges and law students, Nebraska’s legal community sponsored its 8th Annual Legal Diversity Summit at the Creighton Harper Center for Law on September 7, 2012. Over 150 participants including attorneys, judges, law students and individuals interested in applying for law school were in attendance. View slideshow for pictures from the event.