The Legal Advocate

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January 2016 Executive Director’s Letter. Thinking Outside the Box

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Lockwood_KarenWhat Does It Take To Stand Out From The Rest?

Every lawyer asks this stand-out question – sometimes musing while brushing teeth, or maybe staying quiet when watching others talk about their stand-out moments.

Talent is one thing. Put it in a category with knowledge, skill, and diligence.

Lawyers are aware if they are good at what is necessary: good work product; conscientious ethical practices; friendly attitudes toward peers; courtesy to superiors; pitches to work with the powerful partner or supervisor; notes and calls to potential clients.

Yet these measures are “the price of admission.”

So what makes the lawyer a stand-out success?

edJan2016

 

Having insights,

Sharing insights,

Being different, remarkable,

Being courageous.

Being right.

 

 

How can lawyers work up to being “courageous” andright”? Strategic opportunities to develop courage are few when your days are filled with client matters, and the senior lawyers in your office are equally booked for billable work. Where can you find safe places to try to fail, and to fail without risk?

Coaching in the office? Time and the private practice business model permits very little time for that. At the beginning of my career in a preeminent large firm, I could go to the assigning lawyer, could tag along to a court appearance (the firm organized these tag-alongs for associate groups), and could ask the partner to “tag along” with me so that I had a coach as I ventured into my first depositions (expert depositions, at that). Our billable hour requirement — a new idea then — was 1750.

Coaching from an outsider? That works for business development processes. But it is impossible to find tag-along coaching, even if it were affordable.

No, you must look for places of low risk for high-risk experiments on yourself. Here are the requirements of that place: you can perform experimentally; you know your experiment will fail because you are courageous enough to try; the failure teaches you something new; and you will repeat the experiment until you succeed.

Since you are taking that level of risk, you must look for the place that gives you the best teaching and coaching you can get. No pain without gain!

I have that place. It is NITA – a huge experiment by you on yourself.

We are safe. We are masters at teaching advocacy skills. We are coaches. We demand you repeat. We show you what to change.

And you come away with courage that you will always carry with you.

If you don’t know why NITA programs are the answer, please call me. I have the passion, the experience and the history. More, I have your best interests foremost in mind.

Think . . . Never again musing only into your mirror. Never again hiding in silence while others seem to gain courage. Join in with the wise learning at NITA: “trying to fail in a new skill, with friends.”

Karen_ShortSig

 

 

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

2 thoughts on “January 2016 Executive Director’s Letter. Thinking Outside the Box
  • Love Nita! wonder if you have folks trained to your std in Brisbane, Australia?
    I have yet to attend one in the US. It’s on my bucket list though.

    Any programs in LA or Orlando for the mth of August?
    Am going to the latter on 10th August 2016

  • Hi Elvira! Thanks for the love. We offer a trial (March) and a deposition (October) program in Florida once a year. We offer several programs in the southern California region through out the year, including a deposition program in late July. You can find all of our programs here: https://www.nita.org/index.php?option=com_dtregister&view=event&layout=list&controller=event&task=category&list1=8&tab=programs or feel free to reach out to our Western Region Client Relationship Manager Pam Morton at pmorton@nita.org. Thanks again! We hope to see you at a program in the near future.

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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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