2018 Seeds of Justice Award honoree – Heaney Family Service & Justice Law Program

On October 11, we will celebrate the outstanding contributions of Nebraskans who have stood up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2018 Good Apple Awards in Omaha. In the days leading up to the Good Apple Awards, we are proud to introduce you to the honorees we are recognizing this year.

The Seeds of Justice Award honors outstanding legal contributions to public interest law and/or pro bono contributions by private lawyers and law firms advancing the public interest.

Seeds of Justice Award

Katelyn Cherney is the Director of the Heaney Family Service & Justice Law Program at Creighton University.

This year, Appleseed is proud to present the Seeds of Justice Award to the Heaney Family Service & Justice Law Program at Creighton University.

Created in 2017, the Heaney Family Service & Justice Law Program aims to strengthen the culture of pro bono law in Nebraska and is a commitment to our state’s law colleges’ responsibility to teach and grow the next generation of attorneys who will dedicate their careers to expanding justice for all Nebraskans.

The program, which was created with a generous gift from the Heaney Family Fund, was developed “to further integrate the Jesuit mission of social justice into Creighton Law School’s curriculum,” said Muirne Heaney. It will train aspiring attorneys in aspects of poverty law and fund externships for students to work with nonprofit legal organizations such as Legal Aid of Nebraska, ACLU of Nebraska, Immigrant Legal Center, and Nebraska Appleseed, organizations which fight the causes of poverty through the legal system.

The Heaney Family Service & Justice Law Program educates Creighton law students about the legal, political and social challenges facing those living in poverty. The program one day hopes to encourage every Creighton law student to bring a culture of service to their employers and render pro bono legal services to people with limited financial means, who too often are not able to fight for their due justice in court.

One Heaney Family Program student, Katelyn Lawrence, hopes to use her training to practice law in one of Nebraska’s rural communities, where there is a shortage of attorneys.

“In some counties in Nebraska, there are only three attorneys per 20,000 people or more,” she said. “My dream job would be working in a satellite office or hospital for Legal Aid of Nebraska.”

Appleseed has long benefitted from the relationships and passion of several people instrumental in the Heaney Family Program. Muirne Heaney, a managing attorney at Legal Aid of Nebraska and long-time Appleseed partner, said the program will give Creighton students a unique opportunity to understand how the law intersects with the reality of poverty.

“Specifically, the opportunities provide law students with a chance to see firsthand how the law can be and is used to oppress people as well as to free people,” Heaney said.

Katelyn Cherney, the director of the Heaney Family Program, is also a former Appleseed intern.

For their mission to instill in Nebraska’s legal community the responsibility and duty of service,  Appleseed is proud to recognize the Heaney Family Service and Justice Law Program with this year’s Seeds of Justice Award.

Join us at the Good Apple Awards on Thursday, October 11, 2018! Purchase your tickets today!

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