The Legal Advocate

A blog brought to you by the national institute for trial advocacy

A Tip of the Hat to the ISOB

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logo-isobEarlier this year, we told you that we received a generous grant from the International Society of Barristers (ISOB), which provided tuition assistance to enable public service lawyers from across the country to attend a NITA Trial Skills program of their choice.

A portion of that grant funds our annual Craig Spanenberg/John Liber Scholarship. We spoke with Moisés Ceja and Jerry Friedman, two Spanenberg/Liber recipients who, with ISOB support, each attended a NITA program last month. Here’s what they had to say about the experience.

The Building Trials Skills was invaluable. It helps hone skills that you tell yourself you need work on but usually absent is the forum to do so. I never took Trial Advocacy in law school. I felt like this was a semester course condensed into one week with more instructors than you can count, all ready to provide thoughtful feedback. I returned back to work with much more confidence in my trial advocacy skills. I will undoubtedly be applying for future NITA programs. Given that I work for a non-profit with limited means I hope to again be able to receive a scholarship through NITA.
Moisés Ceja
Oregon Law Center
Portland, Oregon

I am a new attorney without a war chest so finding funds to help develop my advocacy skills is always difficult. Brief CLE programs cannot offer the depth that NITA’s programs offer.

My practice is devoted to social justice issues. Currently, most of my cases prosecute civil rights claims against local, state, and federal government, such as two separate cases with clients who were kept in jail for more than 800 days each as pretrial detainees while the arresting police officers knew they were innocent. One of them was kept in solitary confinement for more than 14 months. This latter case is defended by four attorneys with close to 100 years of collective experience, far beyond the three years I’ve been in practice. The NITA program has accelerated my understanding of trial procedure far better than I could have understood spending equal time observing actual cases or fumbling through YouTube. NITA’s hands-on approach including critical feedback by experienced practitioners is simply invaluable.

I owe you a debt of gratitude.
Jerry Friedman
Law Office of Jerold D. Friedman
Cypress, Texas

We send our deepest appreciation to the ISOB for making these opportunities possible.

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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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