The best of what we learn about teaching and justice, of how we work intensely together to learn, of how we seek to instill the true advocacy that redeems justice . . . these things we carry forward from those who went first. They donated the foundation of our teaching, and the spirit and brilliance of our collaboration. Whether founder, designer, creator, faculty, trustee, or author, each person’s excellence in working with the NITA community is still the essence that contributes to NITA result.
At this start of the year, when we are fresh with news of recent losses, we do well to reflect on the way each person contributed. They knew what they brought. Their vision in contributing was to make a difference then and after they were gone. Yes, they had expectations of the everlasting value of their NITA work.
As we work within the NITA community, as we welcome our compatriots and revel in gathering each time a faculty is assembled, let us remember this: We are entrusted with fulfilling not only our goals but also the expectations of these great lawyer/teachers who went before us. They expected that newcomers would bring their genuine best, spar and give, create and critique, build bonds, and cultivate friendships. We do that still, and will into the future.
This NITA community is about honoring those we work with today for the very reason that we work together. It is about the larger vision of justice, which would be neither a formed goal nor an achievable mission without our community of sharing.
In tribute to the collective that is NITA, I draw from our NITA Community pages the names of those who have appeared there over the past year. I would prefer to honor all whom we’ve lost. Our lesson is drawn well, however, from this sampling. Look at the diversity of traits remembered throughout these pages about each of these NITA members at the time of their passing. Take them each as a reverent reflection. Take them together, and we know what they expect of us.
Carry it on. Carry it on.
“her life’s mission to work with women working to achieve success”
“playfulness, the kind that creates collegial learning”
“the fine art of gentlemanly advocacy in the courtroom”
“resolve, determination and contagious sense of humor as he prosecuted his cases”
“free penchant for arguing and teasing, for quick funny references, for repartee, and for being one’s self”
“his insight into justice, what justice requires, and how much injustice exists that is to be addressed and reversed”
“talent, leadership, and strong resolve to do the right things the right way”
“contributions that accentuated her keen eye for service to the public interest in justice”
“trial skills, humor, and humanity that made him both dangerous in the courtroom and a joy in the classroom”
Karen M. Lockwood, Esq.
President and Executive Director
National Institute for Trial Advocacy