The Legal Advocate

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April 2017 Executive Director’s Letter: And Now We Feature NITA’s Finance Gurus

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Each month this winter, my column has featured our NITA Staff members, in person and in their own words – Programs, Publications, Sales & Marketing.  And now it is Spring and we turn your attention to our Finance Department. They bring Spring every month to the mountain of data on our transactions, whether it is your on-line credit card enrollment, or the myriad small-dollar purchases to supply every program with venue, supplies, nourishment, publications, or another type of our many transactions. They help us to stick to our budget, providing great compilations and estimates and forecasts. They think deeply and do forecasts and analyses. And like us all, they love the significance of NITA’s work including public service programs.

I am proud to say how seamlessly our finance professionals work with and support all of our staff. We could not do what we do so well without their ingenuity, insight, insistence on prompt and correct information . . . and their hearty laughs and great teamwork.

Please meet them below, in their own words.

Kay Dragon

Associate ED for Finance
I have one large role, and that is to support people in their efforts at NITA.  The fun is in how this differs, depending on the situation.

My goal is to help the individuals in our Finance team do their jobs well, whether it’s getting faculty paid on time, staff paid and benefits tracked, authors paid their royalties, reports completed accurately on time for various needs, or all the many little details our accountants handle effortlessly.

My goal is also to provide support to help all NITA do their jobs well.

My goal as well is to help our governing board do their jobs well.

The fun in how these goals pull on my desire to contribute. Creativity comes in, especially when working with other NITA teams, like marketing.  Or communication skills come to play when trying to convey complex issues to our board volunteers so they can make decisions with the confidence that they understand the key facts and issues at hand.  Teaching comes in when working across departments to help them understand things that will help them in their work but are not in their area of expertise.  I love supporting our committed staff by doing what I can to continue our tradition of excellent benefits.  There is never a dull moment, and never a lack of opportunities to add value.

Bridget Hamilton

Accounts Receivable, Payroll Specialist, Accounting Assistant
I am responsible for Payroll and Accounts Receivable.  I contribute to NITA’s success by ensuring that our employees are paid accurately and on time!  I also prepare, verify and process most of the invoices that are sent to our customers.  I’m learning more every day and hope to help out our team even more in the future!

I see NITA as a place where I can grow in the future, and the core values that NITA holds are very important to me.  This is a unique industry and one that I have enjoyed learning about.  I appreciate the opportunities that I am being given in my department and I hope to be at NITA for a long time to come.

Carrie Newell

Accounts Payable Specialist, Accounting Assistant
As NITA’s AP Specialist, my addition to NITA’s success is making sure that all of the wonderful faculty and vendors – who dedicate their time and talent to help make our programs a success — get their invoices paid correctly. I do many other things too, to assist NITA such as keeping our state non-profit registrations current.

What makes NITA important to me is that the people I affect will continue to be a part of NITA, and that is really important because of the work that NITA does to help justice.

Laura Rogers

I’m the Controller for NITA’s amazing Finance Department.  I’m accountable for the accounting operations of NITA, to include the production of periodic financial reports, maintaining accurate accounting records in an efficient manner, resolving complex issues when they arise; and providing internal control and cross-training.  I’m very lucky to be working with three amazing and extremely competent women, Kay, Carrie and Bridget.

When I came to NITA 1½ years ago, I could clearly sense that all the employees, program directors, teachers, and board members have the common bond of NITA’s mission.  NITA is not a self-advocacy environment, it’s an environment to assist mentor and promote others in their successes.

The future of NITA from my eyes is sustainable growth in servicing our mission while leading the industry with the highest quality legal skills education available. This future will be supported by mutually beneficial partnerships and a never-ending quest to improve overall legal advocacy across this country and abroad.

Please say “thanks” the next time you talk to our Finance team members. I am proud of them.

And thank YOU.





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

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