The Legal Advocate

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NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc./NITA Public Service Program

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This year, NITA joined forces with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) for a public service trial skills program, December 4 – 6 in New York, NY. The three-day program trained 12 attorneys and was led by Program Director Tom Swett. Tom worked with NITA Faculty Jeanne Jourdan to train the 12 attorneys on skills such as case analysis, direct and cross examination, and motions practice. Tom also worked closely with Director of Litigation at LDF, Sam Spital, to put together the trial skills schedule to fit the needs of the attorneys for this program.

According to Tom, “It was a pleasure to work with the talented attorneys of the LDF of the NAACP. NITA’s mission of promoting justice and ethical advocacy dovetails with the LDF’s mission of obtaining equal justice in employment, education, housing, voting rights, and criminal justice. The LDF trial attorneys today are continuing the legacy of Thurgood Marshall and all of the other civil rights attorneys who give voice to the voiceless and promote equality in all aspects of American lives.”

Furthermore, not only did Tom see positive growth in the attorneys at the end of the program, but participants also had positive remarks at the conclusion. Attendee Christopher Kemmitt, Senior Counsel at LDF stated, “NITA’s program gave us a great opportunity to learn new skills, experiment with different approaches, and get helpful feedback in a low-stress environment.”

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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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