The NITA Foundation is excited to announce that the Ohio State Bar Foundation has awarded us a grant for $11,708 to fund a 2013 NITA Public Service Teacher Training program in Ohio. The three-day program will accommodate twenty four program participants and six program volunteer law school students, and will be run by one Program Director and five NITA faculty. The dates of the program have yet to be determined but be on the lookout for more details coming soon.
NITA Teacher Training programs like this one are the backbone of NITA’s 40-year “learning by doing” legacy, and have positively fostered strong advocacy skills for many lawyers and advocates. NITA believes that the primary goal for a Teacher Training program is for participants to enhance their teaching and critiquing skills, to sharpen their understanding of the most current trends in the legal profession. By maintaining a knowledge of current trends, NITA faculty members are able to capture the needs of their students and equip them with powerful and effective tools to bolster their advocacy skills and thus improve the overall administration of justice.
Teacher Training is important for a number of reasons. It helps NITA spread training by teaching individuals the skills necessary to independently deliver programs to legal service groups. It also expands the pool of public service lawyers who know how to teach for NITA, allowing NITA to offer more public service programs.
While we realize that being a great lawyer doesn’t necessarily make someone a great teacher, equipping an aspiring NITA faculty member with the tools and techniques needed to articulate the legendary NITA teaching methodology is vital for the future of our organization.
About the Ohio State Bar Foundation
As the charitable arm of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Foundation advances the philanthropic goals of Ohio’s lawyers: to recognize excellence, improve the justice system, and enhance public understanding of the law. For more information about the Ohio State Bar Foundation, please visit www.osbf.net
The NITA Foundation is fortunate to have received generous support, for the second year in a row, from the Kansas Bar Foundation – Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Program (IOLTA) to fund a program for Kansas lawyers who work in public service.
The funding supported an October 2012 public service program for lawyers practicing in western Kansas entitled ‘Basic Advocacy Skills’. This three-day NITA program focused on the needs of specialized public service attorneys and served practitioners who could not travel to larger program destinations due to time and budget constraints. The program was offered tuition-free, and provided all materials for those attending.
The trial skills course was open to participants whose practice involves providing counsel to under-served communities or who do government work in Kansas. Those invited to participate as students included public defenders, legal services attorneys, and government lawyers practicing in Kansas.
In these days of limited budgets, reduced training funds, and scarce travel budgets, this opportunity offered in Kansas made a powerful difference in supporting attorneys who work on the front lines to represent those who desperately need a voice in our justice system. This program not only permitted qualified attorneys to benefit from a NITA training in their own backyard, but meant that clients and the public benefited from the enhanced advocacy of these dedicated attorneys.
About The Kansas Bar Foundation – IOLTA Program:
The Kansas Bar Foundation is a charitable, non-profit corporation affiliated with the Kansas Bar Association (KBA). The Foundation’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) Program was established as a funding source for law-related charitable public service projects and was approved by the Kansas Supreme Court in April of 1984. In its petition to the Supreme Court, the Foundation emphasized funding programs which improved the provision of civil legal services to the low-income, provided law-related education, improved the administration of justice, and other programs as approved by the Court. The primary funding was envisioned as providing additional services to low-income Kansans.
The IOLTA program collects interest from lawyers’ client trust accounts. Before the creation of the IOLTA program these funds were held in non-interest-bearing accounts. The client funds deposited in these accounts were either so small or were held for short amounts of time. Any interest generated was less than the expenses to set up a separate account or to separate out, keep appropriate tax records, and dispense interest to each client. When a number of these small or short term funds are pooled together, they produce significant amounts of revenue for law-related charitable public service projects. Participation in the Foundation’s IOLTA program is voluntary on the part of both Kansas lawyers and financial institutions. For more information please visit www.ksbar.org.
Meet Brent Plater – 2012 Scholarship Recipient
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the NITA Foundation is able to provide scholarships to NITA programs. Read below from Brent Plater on how this gift impacted him personally.
“Thank you so much NITA Foundation! I am honored and truly grateful for this award to attend the June 2012 Building Trial Skills NITA training. And I promise to put the training to use advocating for disadvantaged communities and the plants and animals that accompany us in Earth! Hopefully we’ll make you proud!”
– Brent Plater, Executive Director
Wild Equity Institute – San Francisco, CA
The NITA Foundation spotlights the generosity of individual donors who are passionate about supporting new Public Service Slots for Public Programs. Mike Ginsberg, Chair-Elect of the NITA Board and Partner with Jones Day donated $2,500. Doug Irish, NITA faculty member and attorney with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, gave $1,000. Leo Romero, Chair of the NITA Board and Emeritus Law Professor at the University of New Mexico Law School, gave $1,500 for scholarships to Rocky Mountain regional programs. Ben Rubinowitz, NITA Board member and Partner with Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz, donated $5,000 for scholarships for Northeast regional programs. Robin Weaver, NITA Board member and Partner with Squire Sanders, gave $1,800. We are so grateful for these donations. To join their efforts please make a gift today at www.nita.org/Donate.
The International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) made a generous gift to the NITA Foundation in June of $10,000. The contribution to the Annual Fund will be used to bolster scholarships and public service programs.
The Academy is a group of truly elite lawyers representing both sides of the Bar: prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases and plaintiff’s and defense counsel in civil litigation (including business and personal injury cases). While the majority of the Fellows come from the U.S., the Academy includes lawyers from more than 30 countries. Fellowship is by invitation only, and trial lawyers are invited to become Fellows only after an extremely careful vetting process. For more information about IATL please visit www.iatl.net.