The Legal Advocate

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August 2013 Executive Director’s Letter: NITA Knows Children Deserve Justice

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Karen M. Lockwood

Karen M. Lockwood

NITA’s many faculty members and the staff love our organization because it serves justice with intensity and vision. We are non-profit; we live to help courtrooms yield good trials and just results; and we pay attention to those having special needs for justice.

This includes children.

In 2011, 51 states reported having counted 676,569 victims of child abuse and neglect. That number is almost certainly low. From 2000 to 2005, the American Humane Association, a child advocacy group, pegged child maltreatment at numbers ranging from 880,000 to 910,000. In the succeeding recession years, one can imagine the extra pressure on children and can speculate about the latest numbers. The need for advocates is broadly spread among all children in the U.S., and felt by children in all of our populations and economic classes.

Child advocacy has long been identified by NITA’s Board as one of the areas of focus for our public interest programs. In 2013, NITA is running six programs on Child Advocacy, in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New York, Tennessee, and Utah, with a seventh with the ABA and 42 participants in our own facility in Boulder. As an example, that NITA/ABA program is summarized in one participant’s words: “It was INCREDIBLE! . . . This is not an overstatement, it was a transformative week for me. . . . By the end of the week, I was energized, ready to go home and kick some you-know-what in court. I just returned on Sunday, had a hearing on Tuesday, and can already see the difference in my advocacy skills.”

Lawyers who receive their certificates at the end of a NITA intensive skills program, whether public or customized for their firm or agency, often are surprised to learn that NITA is a section 501(c)(3) organization. Since 1971, we have gathered the best trial lawyers into a national faculty for over forty years, and we follow the same model of service today: superb trial lawyers around the country, from all practices, serving all types of clients, are invited to join our public program faculty because of their knowledge, skill, and love of teaching. They donate their time. They prepare carefully, learn our specialized teaching methods, collaborate with each other, meet new colleagues, and have a great deal of fun helping lawyers with less experience master that same knowledge and skill. Lawyers teaching other lawyers what they know about securing just verdicts. Using NITA’s own specialized methods.

Often the pathway to a faculty invitation starts with taking a program. There is no experience like it.

Come join us in a program this fall! And stay with us as your skills excel; we watch our advocates learn and we’d like to continue working with you as we continue expanding our talented faculty.



Karen M. Lockwood, Esq.
President & Executive Director
National Institute for Trial Advocacy

One thought on “August 2013 Executive Director’s Letter: NITA Knows Children Deserve Justice
  • I heartily recommend this program! Attended the week-long program on child advocacy and trial skills in June of 2006 and it was the absolute best training I have ever had. Never worked so hard and learned so much. If you have a chance to do this, grab it!

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    NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system.

    NITA’s Goals are to:

    • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
    • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
    • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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