The Legal Advocate

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

From the Director’s Desk: December 2017

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It’s no secret that our biggest news is around the leadership transition here at NITA. We honor Karen’s passion for advocacy and her “all for one, one for all,” team-player orientation as we welcomed in our new normal. The transition is now official, and I am so thrilled to wrap up this year and focus on 2018 and beyond. We spent much of the last six months making plans, training, and implementing for a number of position changes that you may not even realize happened. Jenn Schneider is now the Associate Executive Director, Operations and Eric Sorensen has stepped into NITA’s Director of Publications. In addition, Tom Hintz is now leading our Client Relations team. The outcome is that NITA’s staff and leadership is stronger than ever.

The end of the year is such a great time for reflection, but the truth is we reflect all year long. We continually evaluate and track how we measure up to the goals we set at the beginning of year. It’s been a busy year all around and while we accomplished a lot, I only have space for a few key highlights.

Programs: The heart and soul of NITA is our learning-by-doing programs. We held 218 training programs around the world and trained over 4,000 attorneys. We couldn’t have done that without our volunteer faculty, who donated over 22,000 hours. In fact, 15 faculty members each volunteered over 100 hours. Thank you for your contributions to NITA! See who they are here.

Foundation: We celebrate the core of who we are, which is promoting advocacy to all lawyers, far and wide, big firm or solo, public service or white collar. NITA designated over $300,000 to support public service training through awarding 117 scholarships to public programs and supporting 38 public service training programs for lawyers who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend a NITA program. For a taste of our activities, read about some of our programs here. And if that isn’t enough, we had an amazing response to the Vanderlaan Scholarship fundraising effort and raised nearly $100,000. The year isn’t up and every dollar counts. Donate here.

Pubs: Our publications catalog is robust and full of new titles. We finished updating the jurisdictional rules books, as well as new editions of Federal Rules of Evidence and Federal Rules of Evidence with Objections. We produced a new legal interviewing book and three new case files. Check out LexisNexis to purchase all our publications. We also welcomed Christine Vincent, the newest Legal Editor to join the NITA family. Christine brings years of experience in the legal publishing sphere gained at LexisNexis/Matthew Bender and Aspen Publishing, as well as running her own legal writing and editing business.

Our January 2018 letter will focus on initiatives we have planned and how, around the world, we want to be better engaged and have a larger reach in furthering NITA’s mission. But for now, we’re going to relish in our accomplishments this year. I hope you do the same.

Wendy's Signature




Wendy McCormack
Executive Director
National Institute For Trial Advocacy

About Wendy McCormack

Wendy joined NITA in 2006, serving as Director of Programs through 2010, then led Operations, where she provided leadership oversight and mentorship the NITA leadership team in Marketing & Sales, Program Operations, Publications, and Information Technology. Wendy has directed all aspects of core business and operational development function for 300 continuing education programs across the United States and internationally. As Executive Director, she works collaboratively with professional staff, the Board of Trustees, and the organization as a whole in developing and implementing strategy, modeling and setting the company’s culture and values, and optimizing financial performance. Wendy received her master’s degree in education, with an emphasis on organizational development and human resources, from Colorado State University (CSU). In 2016, she completed the intensive Organizational Leadership Program at the Employers Council’s Nonprofit Leadership Institute in Denver.

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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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