Legal Aid Honors Kutak Rock Among Equal Justice Awards

By 
Scott Sewart
The Daily Record

Legal Aid of Nebraska works to “make equal justice happen” for struggling Nebraskans, which results in hundreds of partnerships of all shapes and sizes.

As a way to give recognition to those partners, the nonprofit law firm held its inaugural Friends of Legal Aid Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Happy Hollow Country Club in Omaha.

“As most know, Legal Aid’s line of work is not always quick, easy, pretty or painless, but it makes a real difference to those in need,” said the Hon. Patrick Rogers, president of Legal Aid’s Board of Directors. “The work done is so important, and so effective. Recognizing these remarkable partners for all they do has been an honor for all of us associated with Legal Aid.”

Legal Aid presented its first Equal Justice Awards to partners who made particularly significant and noteworthy contributions to the goal of equal justice for all, according to a news release.

Kutak Rock LLP received the inaugural Law Firm Partner Equal Justice Award, recognizing the firm’s long-lasting partnership with Legal Aid as well as its countless attorney hours devoted to pro bono representation, low-income community development and other volunteer opportunities.

“Kutak Rock is a leading national law firm that not only sees support for equal justice for all as an ethical obligation, but also as a clarion call for action in the legal profession,” a release stated. “Since its founding, this commitment to equal justice has been a part of Kutak Rock’s DNA. This legacy of the firm’s founders, including major roles in the early development of the Legal Aid Society and a broadening of civil legal aid – not just across Nebraska but also nationwide – has continued through today’s leadership.”

American National Bank received the inaugural Community Partner Equal Justice Award, which recognizes the bank’s corporate commitment to providing significant staff and financial resources to supporting community services, including Legal Aid. 

“American National Bank’s leadership have long recognized the value of widespread community prosperity, and how low-income community members are greatly benefited by high quality legal representation,” a release stated. “American National Bank also consistently promotes within the business and philanthropic community these keys to community health.”

Mark Laughlin of Fraser Stryker PC LLO and David Cripe of Hauptman O’Brien Wolf & Lathrop PC received the inaugural Attorney Partner Equal Justice Awards, recognizing the work by the successful Omaha private attorneys toward helping hundreds of low-income refugees displaced from the Yale Park Apartments in Omaha last year.

“These families were forced to live in unsafe, unhealthy and unacceptable conditions,” a release stated. “Recognizing their sophisticated legal skills would be of great help to these families, Mark and David stepped forward to lend a hand in this fight against injustice. Working in partnership with Legal Aid, Family Housing Advisory Services, and other community partners, they have initiated powerful legal actions demanding accountability and future change to improve our community.”

For more information on Legal Aid, including the awards event, visit legalaidofnebraska.org.

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