The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: Giving Voice

Fundraising Goal for 2014

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November is coined as philanthropy month and marks the busiest season for non-profits.  More importantly it is a time for all of us to reflect for a moment, to say thanks and to give back.  Before the close of 2014, we are asking you to include the NITA Foundation into your year-end philanthropic giving plan.

The NITA Foundation is asking for your donation in order to promote Better Lawyering, Better Results, and Better Justice.  The NITA Foundation accomplishes this by awarding scholarships and by funding specialized advocacy skills programs to groups of public service lawyers.

  • Critical Scholarships from NITA make it possible for both public service lawyers and lawyers in need to serve clients with more effective and efficient advocacy skills. Scholarship recipients attend our public programs, learning alongside lawyers who they might meet on the other side of the courtroom.
  • Public Service Programs created by NITA, teach relevant advocacy skills to dedicated groups of public service lawyers.  These programs directly target the lawyers who serve clients most in need of a voice.

In 2013, NITA trained 3,295 attorneys nationwide in 208 advocacy skills programs. Of these, 114 lawyers received NITA scholarships and 641 received their training in public service programming.

We strive to do more.Help us reach our donation goal of $200,000 for 2014.  We have nearly $100,000 remaining and we need your help!  Here are ways you can give to the NITA Foundation:

  • Cash donations
  • Authorize a pledge
  • Give in memory or in honor of a colleague, friend, or family member
  • Donate faculty pay for teaching at a NITA Program or royalty payments from your publications
  • Gift of stock
  • Planned giving – gifts made from an estate, life insurance, or retirement plan assets

No matter the amount, every dollar matters and every dollar raised goes to fund scholarships and public service programs.  Please visit to make a secure online gift or mail donations directly to the NITA Foundation.

Our New Look!  Our Evidence of Public Service Passion!

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Welcome to our new look in Giving Voice, published by the NITA Foundation.  All dressed up to bring you current news about NITA’s public service mission and the NITA Foundation’s activities, we give you the same clean, clear look-and-feel that you recognize as NITA brand.  We give you instant comment and sharing space below each article directed to our blog so that your ideas, questions, bragging rights, and public service activities are for all to see.  By “giving voice” to you on these pages, we hope that you will inspire your colleagues as well.

Our Passion.  As Executive Director of the Foundation, I want to share other trending events.  The NITA Board and NITA Foundation Board members, in their regular fall meeting, acted with certainty and insight to dedicate additional NITA funding to our public service training work.  This is innovation in action. It also is preparation – broadening our public service platform and showing you the strong impact of your individual donations.  We picture that work to include NITA-initiated public service training programs, aimed at particular groups of attorneys, or particular client groups who are caught in a tradition of under-representation.

Impactful and innovative are the key words.  We will innovate our public service programming in ways that reach audiences we see, but where grant-makers’ goals do not necessarily reach.  We will grow our impact by showing you another way to explore and support with us the work of improving advocacy skills, across the country and in Rule of Law programs internationally.  Your donations will make a large difference.  This is uniquely NITA.

Thank you for being part of our donor family.  Whether you are a program participant, faculty member, author, past donor, or current donor, we ask you to join our initiative with your donations.  Larger resources make larger differences.  And we have a big difference to make.




Karen M. Lockwood
Executive Director
The NITA Foundation

NITA Celebrates Pro Bono Recognition Week

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NITA is committed to providing all lawyers with access to legal skills training. To help us reach that goal we devote resources to programs designed to improve the skills of those who represent underserved communities.  During National Pro Bono Week on October 19-25 we reflected on this mission.

Our public service statics, taken from last week’s NITA Notes written by NITA Board Member, Barbara Bergman, are thrilling to report.  In 2014, over 500 participants have been trained in NITA’s more specialized public service programs.  Those programs included training in child advocacy, disability rights work, legal services, domestic violence, death penalty, civil rights, and programs in conjunction with bar associations.  NITA has also sponsored teacher training programs for legal service and child advocacy attorneys, which were designed to enable those attorneys to return to their offices and train the attorneys with whom they worked to be more effective advocates.  NITA is also participating in advocacy training programs in Serbia, Singapore, Ireland, Kenya, and Japan.  Overall, 150 individuals attended nine international programs.

To read the entire blog post about Pro Bono Recognition Week and NITA’s public service efforts, visit:

Grant and Donor Highlights and Appreciation

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Kansas Bar Foundation Continues Support
The NITA Foundation expresses its thanks for the fourth year in a row to the Kansas Bar Foundation, Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Program (IOLTA) for funding a NITA public service program to train Kansas lawyers in the public service sector.   The three-day program, entitled Public Service Advocacy Skills, was held just last week in Kansas focusing on the needs of specialized public service attorneys and was tuition-free.

Not only will these attorneys benefit from being trained in a quality educational training by NITA faculty members without the burden of traveling, but their clients will in turn receive representation from enriched advocates because of this specialized funding.

The NITA Foundation shares the same funding crisis as many non-profits based on the last few years of a struggling economy, reduced donor dollars, and limited training funds.  This means we have limited resources to do public service programs without covering costs.  Grants like this create a unique and powerful opportunity offered to local, dedicated attorneys.

To learn more about The Kansas Bar Foundation – IOLTA programs, visit

International Society of Barristers Partnership Endures
A $10,000 donation from the International Society of Barristers (ISOB) continues the valuable partnership between the NITA Foundation and this distinct and prestigious organization.  ISOB dedicated to assist NITA in making trial programs accessible to public service attorneys in need.  We have dedicated these funds to sponsor 7 scholarships thus far in 2014 trial programs.  These scholarships are known as the International Society of Barristers Craig Spangenberg/John Liber Scholarships.

The Society nurtures excellence and professionalism in advocacy by its recognition of members’ achievements.  Their recognition of the quality of NITA trial programs combined with their support to the NITA Foundation allows a combined mission of enhancing advocacy skills and improving the justice system.

To learn more about ISOB, visit

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Recognition
The NITA Foundation recognizes the generosity of a longtime supporter, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Foundation (IATL). The organization donated $10,000 to the NITA Foundation to boost our scholarship program for 2014.

The Academy is a group of elite trial lawyers who purpose includes elevating the standards of honor, integrity, and courtesy in the legal profession.  Their outstanding commitment to NITA enables us to fulfill their purpose by training public service lawyers through scholarships to NITA public programs to become effective, ethical, and professional advocates.

For more information about the IATL Foundation, visit

Mongolian Project Assistance

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NITA was pleased to assist IATL and the California Bar on an impactful project in Mongolia.  The California Bar recently assisted in the creation of a newly formed Mongolian Bar Association.  The International Academy of Trial Lawyers was invited to help explore possible benefits of a jury trial process for Mongolia’s developing legal system from the ground up.  NITA provided a NITA case file (with permission to translate) to support this project with an estimated 100 people involved.

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 Goal is 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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