The Robert M. Spire award is presented annually to a Nebraska lawyer who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to pro bono service for the poor, as was the hallmark of Robert M. Spire. The recipient is a lawyer who has achieved the highest standards of competence, ethics, and professionalism, and who protects and promotes the administration of and access to justice. This year’s award was presented to the Honorable Teresa K. Luther, Doniphan.
The Honorable Judge Luther began the practice of law in 1976, practicing in Lincoln, Hastings and Kearney. In 1994, she became a judge of the District Court, 9th Judicial District. Judge Luther has been a pillar of the central Nebraska legal community since 1980. Throughout her career, Judge Luther has been committed to ensuring equal access to the justice system. Early in her career, Judge Luther was a professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Judge Luther also served on numerous judicial committees for both the Supreme Court and Nebraska District Judges Association. She mentored new judges from across the state through Nebraska’s Judicial Branch Education program for several years, training many of the judges who are on the bench today.
Judge Luther was appointed Vice Chair of the Nebraska Supreme Court Pro Se Committee in 2001 known as the Self-Represented Litigation Committee. Judge Luther partnered with Creighton Law School’s Legal Clinic, UNL College of Law’s Legal Clinic, the Nebraska Domestic Violence Coalition, and Legal Aid of Nebraska to create Nebraska’s first Self-Help Divorce forms. Since the development of the first set of forms, Judge Luther has been instrumental in the development of many family-related forms which are provided as a public service to assist people who are handling their own legal matters and otherwise unable to access to the judicial system. Judge Luther was instrumental in supporting the Volunteer Lawyers Project by assisting and guiding the Hall County Bar Association’s Self-Help Desk, ensuring the provision of pro bono legal services to those who could not afford it. Her leadership with the self-help desk focused on the guiding principal of helping people access the courts and justice.
Click the nomination form tab to submit an electronic nomination for the Robert M. Spire award for 2021. Nominations must be received by December 31, 2020 for consideration. Nominations will be reviewed by the NSBA Legal Services Committee. Recipients will be honored at the 2021 Barristers Ball. Download a paper nomination form for the Robert M. Spire award. Mail completed paper nomination forms to NSBA Volunteer Lawyers Project 635 S 14th. Street Lincoln, NE 68508, email to [email protected] or fax to (402) 475-7098.