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Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Stopped in Kearney to Tout Rural Law Program

Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice, Michael G. Heavican, stopped at the University of Nebraska at Kearney yesterday to generate awareness and express appreciation for a new law student program that aims to increase the number of lawyers serving rural Nebraska.

The new Kearney Law Opportunities Program (KLOP) is a collaborative partnership between UNK and University of Nebraska College of Law. Under the program, the students were recruited from rural Nebraska to UNK on a full-tuition scholarship, and upon their graduation will be admitted to the UNL College of Law. During their time at UNK they will participate in activities and events in Lincoln to learn more about law fields. The program is also at Wayne State College and Chadron State College.

Five UNK students this fall will have scholarships with the new Kearney Law Opportunities Program were in attendance as well. They are Brooke Rademacher of Loomis, Cassandra Wojcik from Newman Grove, Broc Stuhr of Grand Island, Max Beal from Kenesaw, and Rachel Kneifl of Allen.

Heavican, and his staff, were among a group of about 50 who joined a breakfast meeting and heard comments about the need for the program and outlined its first year.  Other speakers included Corey R. Steel, State Court Administrator, and Richard Moberly, Dean of the UNL College of Law.

Chief Justice Heavican was appointed to the Nebraska Supreme Court in 2006 following more than 30 years in service as Lancaster County Attorney and U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska. He received his juris doctorate in 1974 from the UNL College of Law, following receipt of his bachelor’s degree at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Supreme Court’s basic responsibilities are to hear appeals and provide administrative leadership for the state judicial system. The Supreme Court also hears all appellate cases regarding the death penalty, the sentence of life imprisonment, or constitutional questions. Besides appeals, the Supreme Court is responsible for the regulation of the practice of law in Nebraska.


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