VLP Staff work for Nebraska lawyers to help them achieve the highest standards of competence, ethics and professionalism and to protect and promote the administration of and access to justice. Mindful of the lawyer’s busy schedule, we develop and facilitate pro bono and reduced fee programs that are convenient, rewarding, and impactful.
Laurel Heer Dale, Director
Laurel “Laurie”is Director of VLP. She is responsible for developing, managing, and advancing innovative pro bono programs for Nebraska lawyers. Laurie started her legal career at Legal Aid of Nebraska in 2002, serving as Director of Client and Community Engagement Services, Director of Access, Managing Attorney for Legal Aid’s AccessLine® centralized intake unit, coordinator of the Private Attorney Involvement program and Staff Attorney. Laurie designed and launched Legal Aid’s Breast Cancer Legal Hotline, Disaster Relief Response Hotline, Autism Legal Hotline, and the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline. She also developed and implemented an online intake system.
Laurie has presented on legal aid services to community groups and organizations and at national workshops, including the annual Equal Justice Conferences hosted by the American Bar Association and National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the Legal Service Corporation’s Innovations in Technology conference. She has served as a consultant to other Legal Aid programs concerning access to services. Laurie is an appointed member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Self-Represented Litigation Committee and member of Nebraska State Bar Association and Omaha Bar Association.
Laurie received her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Nebraska and Iowa.
John Rogers, Program Attorney
As the VLP Program Attorney, John primarily assists with recruiting private attorneys to engage in pro bono efforts, case placement of pro bono cases, and facilitation of self-help centers and legal clinic events. John is a graduate of Creighton University School of Law and has been practicing law in Nebraska for more than 25 years, primarily in the areas of debtor/creditor law and bankruptcy. John has served as both in-house counsel and in private practice where he has represented a wide variety of clients, including banks, collection agencies, major retailers, and small businesses, along with individual debtors and creditors. John has been a frequent lecturer on various legal topics, including debt collection litigation, judgment enforcement,the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and creditors’ rights in bankruptcy. Prior to joining the NSBA staff, John was involved in pro bono opportunities through the VLP self-help center in Douglas County and enjoyed participating in Lawyers in the City legal clinic events. John is admitted in Nebraska, Iowa and the Federal District Court of Nebraska.
Shannon Seim, EVOLVES Program Attorney & Clinic Facilitator
Shannon is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law. Prior to law school, Shannon worked with refugee families at Lutheran Family Services and Heartland Family Service, both in Omaha. While in law school, Shannon was a law clerk for the Health Education and Law Program at Legal Aid of Nebraska, a program that focuses on improving community health by removing legal barriers; and, she served as a senior certified Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care through The Children’s Justice Clinic. Her extensive experience working with diverse populations, low-income individuals, victims of crime and within the Nebraska College of Law Pro Bono Initiative where she heavily engaged in pro bono and recruitment efforts while in law school have prepared her well for this position. As the EVOLVES Program Attorney & Clinic Facilitator, Shannon primarily assists with recruitment of private attorneys to engage in reduced-fee efforts, case placement of reduced-fee cases and facilitation of self-help centers and legal clinic events.