The Legal Advocate

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April 2014 Executive Director’s Letter: Publications. One Entry Point to NITA’s Virtuous Cycle

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Lockwood_Karen“NITA? Oh, yes! You do, what, programs, or books, or wait, don’t I actually see you on YouTube?”

“Yes, yes, and yes.”

NITA’s Rule of Threes. Programs, Publications, studio71. More than a rule, it is a virtuous cycle.

I read, converse, and keep up to date with needs and trends in legal education. The “news” would seem to be all bad—but wait. The schools are talking through innovative solutions for “before-the-JD.” For “after-the-JD,” NITA breathes innovation. This year, we offer you more, in more formats, and more interrelated, than ever. Innovation in your learning? NITA is “on it.”

The NITA Rule of Threes becomes a virtuous cycle of your individual productivity because you can control your path and the type of tool you have time to use at the moment. Each part of our cycle of three advances you to another part: What you learn in a live program is integrated with the publication we select for that program. You move to more NITA content online that refreshes your learning, or provides you on-the-go tools, or introduces you to other skills. You buy a NITA book either as an eBook to take to court with you, or in print so you always have it for ready desk reference. You can jump online and choose a video demonstration or lecture about a specific skill. Above all, while you can fill your need in the short run, you know that actually performing that set of skills is mastered by doing it in one of NITA’s intense, faculty-rich programs. Target your next program, save the date, enroll early.

NITA’s virtuous cycle iterates. Through it all, you can stay up to date with targeted skills through publications and rules books, get a short dose of NITA-esque teaching through a Studio71 webcast, and enroll in the next program already more prepared to master more advanced levels than you owned at the end of your last program.

To get an idea of how the cycle works, let’s jump onto the path today at Publications. We have grown the variety, deepened the intensity, and transformed the usefulness of our collection.

  • More varied. NITA excellence means not only mastery of the technical presentation, but also owning the effectiveness virtues of analysis, synthesis, brevity, intensity, clarity, and likeability—a set of personal achievements so important to judges, jurors, and clients. Look at these examples:
  • Unbundled. The experienced advocate will appreciate our unbundling a panoply of topics on mastered skills and disciplined analysis. We put specific topics into handy packages. The packages are deeper, smaller, and as crisp and useful as always for every practitioner. For example, these 4” x 6” manuals synthesize pithy and sophisticated points:
  • More Take-It-Along. All treatises are now available as eBooks, adaptive to your preferred format.
  • More On-Demand. Our empowered website, being groomed further every week, provides you access to the entire collection of publications, plus Studio71 works new and classic, and live webinars.
  • Sophisticated and Evergreen. I bought NITA treatises one by one over the years as I needed them in my trial practice, and especially after taking my first program. Notably, I continued to refer to them for refreshers and “go-get-’em,” top-of-mind techniques before each major deposition or trial. They refresh the experienced lawyer as well as do a deep-dive for the specific advocacy need. They are accessible by topic. And the new releases of our treatises keep your practice and technique up to date, adaptive, and forward looking.

When you get on track with NITA, you recognize that walking the virtuous cycle is easier than ever, more flexible for your needs than ever, and always a bit ahead of what you need next. You can move from online recorded webinar, to live webinar, to live program, to online learning that reinforces and refreshes your program work, to an eBook that gives you the meat of your new skills in a portable outline and guide. You can confront a new level of practice and turn to NITA at any point in the virtuous cycle, walking it again to continually integrate your new learning with your prior work and your higher level of sophistication.

Other recent accomplishments? All of our publications can be purchased online at Our website offers you the choice—eBook or the print version—for every treatise and guide. Case files can be ordered for your class or working group. Videos of lectures can be viewed online. Webinars are both audio and visual—you will see your lecturer as if you are there in the room, and can post questions.

What’s coming? Some surprising and inventive takes on unbundling books—stay tuned. Some amazing case file features—the first of which is the recently released Evans v. Washingtonia State University case. It uses interactive “microsites” to deliver depositions, electronic evidence like emails, text messages, a video clip, and online social media posts.

In this time of intense innovation, NITA innovates for the practitioner—accessible, in the right form at the right time, deeply instructive, clearly laid out, and tailored to you. We aim to remain the most useful resource to lawyers for the most helpful, dense, practical, accessible, individualized, and live methods of mastering advocacy skills. Give me your other ideas too!




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

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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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