The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: NITA Community

NITA Trustee Barbara Bergman to Receive Distinguished Achievement Award from UNM School of Law

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Our congratulations to go NITA Trustee Barbara Bergman for being one of four recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award, in recognition of her years of teaching service at the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Law. She will receive the honor at the law school’s annual dinner this Friday, October 20, at the UNM Student Union Building ballroom in Albuquerque.

“I am deeply honored to be receiving this award from UNM,” Barbara told The Legal Advocate. “I spent twenty-eight years teaching at the UNM School of Law, and I treasure the time I spent helping educate the wonderful students at that law school.” Barbara became a NITA Trustee in 2006, after several years of service as a program director and faculty member at NITA’s Southwest Deposition Skills, the Southwest Trial Skills, and the Connecticut Child Protection Trial Skills programs, among others.

Established in 1993, the Distinguished Achievement Award honors people who have served the legal community in a significant way, celebrates notable accomplishments and dedicated service by lawyers and others in the legal community to the UNM School of Law, the New Mexico legal community, and the greater community inside and outside of New Mexico.

The dinner, attended by approximately 450 guests or more each year, helps fund the Law Alumni/ae Association’s three full-tuition merit scholarships at the Law School through its proceeds. The dinner has raised over $500,000 benefitting the law school and law students.

For more information, click here to view the UNM press release.

Kansas Bar Foundation Awards Grant to Fund Annual Public Service Program

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The NITA Foundation would like to recognize the generosity of a longtime supporter, the Kansas Bar Foundation. The organization recently awarded a $10,226 grant to the NITA Foundation to fund next year’s eighth annual Kansas Public Service Advocacy Skills Program. Under the grant, twenty-four attendees—comprised of Kansas prosecutors, public defenders, legal services lawyers, and other advocates for justice—will attend a three-day, NITA trial skills training at no cost to their respective agency.

The NITA Foundation and the Kansas Bar Foundation since 2011 have shared a great camaraderie as they worked toward their common goal of supporting legal service lawyers in Kansas through this program, which is held each year in October. Later this month, Judge William Ossmann will reprise his role as program director for the program, which will be held October 26–28 at the Steinberg Museum in Hays, Kansas. This program is funded by a Kansas Bar Foundation grant awarded last fall.

The Kansas Bar Foundation supports programs that provide access to the legal system for low-income Kansans, advocacy for children in need of care and victims of domestic violence. Funding also provides scholarships, educational materials and teacher training for public and private schools about the role of law and lawyers in society. Founded in 1957, the foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and IOLTA. Click here to learn more about the Kansas Bar Foundation.

Our Thanks to the International Academy of Trial Lawyers

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The NITA Foundation recognizes the generosity of a longtime supporter, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Foundation (IATL). The organization recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the NITA Foundation to boost the scholarship program for 2018. The grant represents the latest gesture of goodwill in IATL and NITA’s longstanding relationship, which is based in part on the organizations’ shared value for the administration of justice in the United States.

The NITA Foundation has received scholarship funding from the IATL for many years. So far this year, the 2017 IATL grant has sent ten public service lawyers or lawyers of financial need to the NITA trial skills or deposition program of their choice. These scholarship winners practice in Arizona, California, Florida, and Virginia, and work at a local Legal Aid office, a federal agency, county legal services, a public defenders’ office, and their own small firms. They have attended NITA programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco, Scottsdale, and Washington, D.C.

The IATL 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 iatl.net.

Press Release: Wendy McCormack Named New Executive Director of NITA

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Contact: Daniel McHugh FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel.: 303.953.6828
Email: dmchugh@nita.org
Date: 9/22/17

National Institute for Trial Advocacy Names New Executive Director—
Wendy McCormack Selected to Lead Boulder-Based Nonprofit Beginning December 1

BOULDER, Colo., September 19, 2017 —The Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) today announced that Wendy McCormack will become NITA’s Executive Director on December 1, 2017, succeeding Karen M. Lockwood upon her retirement. McCormack is currently the Associate Executive Director of Operations (AED) at NITA, and has invested eleven years in multiple roles at NITA.

“This is a wonderful time for NITA and for Wendy,” Lockwood commented. “NITA has adopted many new initiatives to deepen our impact, strive for smart innovation, and strengthen our business strategies over the last several years. Wendy has made major contributions in each of these areas. NITA began forty-five years ago as the most unique and respected organization of lawyers teaching lawyers. It remains so, and with Wendy’s leadership, NITA is poised for even greater growth, deeper impact, and smarter innovation.”

Joe Loveland, Chair of NITA’s Board of Trustees, echoed Lockwood’s comments. “We are fortunate to have a person with Wendy’s talent, enthusiasm, and commitment to NITA to step into Karen’s shoes. Wendy’s experience with NITA as Associate Executive Director responsible for Operations, her vision in creating Studio71, and her keen knowledge of all aspects of NITA’s mission and programs combine to give us the ideal leader for NITA going forward. I and the other members of the board look forward to working closely with Wendy.”

“Daily, I am inspired by NITA’s mission, the critical work of our staff and faculty, and the great commitment of the people who entrust us with their training needs,” McCormack said. “Our work is vital as we amplify our collective voice, and project NITA’s vision of justice, ethics, and excellence in advocacy into our future and around the globe. It will be an honor to lead NITA and continue our work together. Karen has demonstrated over her lifetime a passion for trial advocacy and defending the rule of law. She brought that passion to NITA. And we’re going to carry it forward.”

McCormack joined NITA in 2006 and has served as Director of Programs from 2006 to 2010 and led Operations since 2010. As Associate Executive Director from 2013 to date, she provides leadership and oversight of NITA’s operations. She oversees and mentors the NITA leadership team in Marketing & Sales, Program Operations, Publications, and Information Technology. She works collaboratively with professional staff, the Board of Trustees, and the organization as a whole in building and maintaining relationships with the external NITA community. As Director of Programs, McCormack directed all aspects of core business and operational development function for 300 continuing education programs across the United States and internationally. She has been accountable for strategic planning, business development, enrollment policies and procedures, database administration, grant management, and administering departmental budgets.

McCormack received her master’s degree in education, with an emphasis on organizational development and human resources, from Colorado State University (CSU) in 2000, and her B.S. degree in Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1997. In 2016, she completed the intensive Organizational Leadership Program at the Employers Council’s Nonprofit Leadership Institute in Denver.

Jennifer Schneider, currently NITA’s Director of Publishing & Digital Content, will assume the role of Associate Executive Director of Operations during the leadership change on December 1. Schneider joined NITA in 2013, after a twelve-year career at Thomson Reuters in Eagan, Minnesota. She received both her J.D (2000) and her B.A. in journalism (1997) from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Upon retirement, Lockwood will reside near Boulder, Colorado, and Edinburg, Virginia. She has served NITA as Executive Director since December 1, 2012. She is excited to rejoin NITA’s national faculty and to combine her insights into NITA’s strong service with her other lifelong interests in improving the profession’s diversity and its focus on access to justice.

About the National Institute for Trial Advocacy

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) is the world’s leader in advocacy skills training and publications. A §501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Boulder, Colorado, NITA’s mission is to train and coach lawyers to be skilled and ethical advocates in the pursuit of justice. To learn more, visit nita.org, or call us at 303.953.6828.

NITA’s Alumni Association

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This year, we at NITA wanted to give program Alumni ample opportunity to connect and engage with NITA as well as their fellow NITA alumni. Therefore, the NITA Alumni Association was born. There are no dues to pay or forms to fill out to join, if you went to a program you are a member. The goal of the associaiton is to privde past program attendees the opportunity to engage with fellow alumni as well as NITA Faculty members through alumni only events including receptions, happy hours, CLE events, webcasts and more.

We hosted our first Alumni networking event in Seattle on August 4th on the last day of our 2017 Seattle Deposition skills program. Here, current deposition skills attendees and faculty mingled with past attendees and faculty from the Seattle area.

On September 28th, NITA’s studio71 will be hosting an alumni only Q&A webcast featuring NITA faculty members Christina Habas and Karen Steinhauser. This unique opportunity provides past program participants access to our esteemed faculty, getting answers to questions that alumni may have since taking their NITA program. It’s like having a NITA faculty member right at your fingertips.

Our second Alumni networking reception is in the works, and is tentatively planned on being held during the Advanced Trial Advocacy: Next-Level Trial Techniques Program in Washington DC in early November. Formal invites to the event will be sent out next month.

We welcome any thoughts/questions and ideas you might have for the association, please contacts us via phone at 1.800.225.6482 or email at customerservice@nita.org with those suggestions.

Interested in attending next week’s Live Q&A webcast? Register Here

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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