The Legal Advocate

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

From the Director’s Desk: May 2018

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I have an obsession with time. It is a fascinating thing―it breeds acknowledgement of things past, gives focus to things present, and instills a vision of things future. Time is a continuum. It can create a sense of accomplishment, or of laziness. It allows us to reflect on the impact of our activities as well as the people in our lives. So in that stream of thought, I’ve gone back in time a bit to review some important NITA history.

Last month, the board of directors for the International Society of Barristers (ISOB) invited me to speak at its annual conference. The ISOB has been a longtime donor and supporter of NITA training, with a similar mission and overlap in great leadership. Upon researching our history and partnership with the ISOB, I reflected on time.

Digging into the history of NITA has brought me the opportunity to learn about the many influencers who have guided and impacted our incredible organization―the great trial organizations like ISOB, IATL, ABA, AAJ (formerly ATLA), ACTL, and ABOTA, all who helped shaped who NITA is today. I’m inspired to read their mission statements to see how we fit together then and now. Has time divided us? Are we united in our efforts like we were in the early ’70s . . . and if the answer is no, then why? Over time, we change and adapt―yes, that’s true, we change with the times to adapt to technology or implement new learning techniques―but fundamentally, we remain loyal to who we were in the 1970s. And we were created to endure around a shared belief.

One thing I know for certain is that history + partnerships are a rich combination. Partnerships allow us to build trust, such that where we have a gap, our partner may be able to fill it and vice versa, or that we can mutually benefit from aligning on initiatives that forward both missions and causes. And therein lay the beauty of time: developing important relationships that endure.

I hope to continue to grow our relationships in the months and years to come. Thank you to all our partners, big and small, who help us forward our mission.

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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