Sweltering heat and a searing sun beating down on a replica Liberty Bell in downtown Las Vegas, didn’t stop justice luminaries in the community from coming out to honor Presiding Civil Division District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez and Justice Court Administrator LaDeana Gamble in recognition of their work to establish the Civil Law Self-Help Center. The center offer free forms and information on navigating the courts to those who represent themselves in civil matters.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lloyd D. George, who is a strong proponent of the rule of law, gave a historical perspective of the importance of the Liberty Bell.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman offered insight on Liberty Plaza before giving her take on the importance of upholding the rule of law. The Las Vegas mayor made a surprise announcement that the city will revamp a committee to re-start work on phase II of the justice walk, and called for volunteers to join the June 18 first meeting.

Barbara Buckley from the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada presented the Liberty Bell awards and offered reasons why the Civil Self-Help Center has leveled-out the playing field for those who cannot afford legal counsel in civil cases.

The Liberty Bell Award recognizes individuals in the community who uphold the rule of law, contribute to good government within the community, stimulate a sense of civic responsibility, and encourage respect for the law in the courts.

The non-profit Legal Aid Center operates the Self-Help Center at the Regional Justice Center in cooperation with the Eighth Judicial District Court. Since Dec. 2009, more than 200,000 people have used the Self-Help Center to help them prepare for court. A new website was also recently launched, that offers how-to tips, forms and info on going solo in court at http://www.civillawselfhelpcenter.org.

The Annual Liberty Bell Award, a partnership between the Clark County Law Foundation’s Let Freedom Ring Committee and the City of Las Vegas, has been recognizing and honoring outstanding citizens since 1983. The Clark County Law Foundation is dedicated to providing community service programs throughout Southern Nevada that are integrated with law-related education.