NITA Board of Trustee Chair-Elect Mike Ginsberg and Former NITA Executive Director John Baker traveled to Nagoya, Japan in early November to reinforce NITA’s ties with the Japan’s PSIM Consortium. The consortium is a cooperative organization of over 30 Japanese law schools, designed to improve advocacy skills training in those law schools. NITA and the Consortium have maintained a formal “cooperative agreement” for almost five years.
Ginsberg presented a speech on the history of NITA, and Baker made a presentation on NITA’s work in studio71, video products and programs, and NITA’s e-publications. The presentations went well and overall the trip successfully reinforced our cooperation agreement.
Regarding the trip, Michael Ginsberg had this to say: “The visit was a wonderful opportunity to reinforce NITA’s relationship with the PSIM consortium which is leading the development of skills training for Japanese law students and practitioners. By sharing NITA’s history, methodology, and plans for the future, we can minimize the learning curve for our Japanese colleagues.”
The “hello” goes out to Karen Lockwood, who will lead us as NITA’s 8th Executive Director on December 1, 2012. I have known Karen as one of NITA’s fine public program directors for several years. I have always viewed her as a talented NITA faculty member, who has had NITA loyalty flowing through her veins. Over the last few months Karen and I have worked shoulder to shoulder in this transition period and I have gotten to know her better. I am confident that she will apply her considerable talents as a NITA teacher and as a long time trial lawyer to her new job as the future leader of NITA. Please welcome Karen.
The “good-bye” part comes from me. I feel honored to have served as NITA’s director for the last three years. I view my term as being marked by both “a looking back” and “a looking forward.” I was lucky to participate in last year’s 40th Reunion Celebration, which gave us all an opportunity to learn about our NITA history. More importantly, the 40th anniversary allowed us to reconnect with our NITA “roots” that were characterized by NITA revolutionizing advocacy skills teaching in 1972. As we all join with Karen to take NITA forward in this technology-driven 21st century we need to remember our history and be true to our roots of quality and excellence of our programs.
The “looking forward” part has been NITA’s recent exploration of whether and how we can apply the NITA method of learning by doing to online distance learning and other electronic formats. Over the last three years we found that applying the NITA method in these other formats will not replace our traditional face-to-face programs for most NITA participants. However, the other formats can be used to supplement the traditional programs, to market our programs, and to reach attorneys who will not ever be able to attend the face-to-face programs. NITA publications branched out to e-books in a similar way.
This last three years was a NITA team effort. I need to thank all of the NITA team that I was fortunate to work side-by-side with for three years. First, the talented NITA Boulder staff members have gracefully transitioned through economic challenges, through changes in the NITA leadership, and even through change in location without whining and always with allegiance and loyalty to NITA and its mission. Second, the NITA faculty members and program directors have uniformly and unwaveringly supported the NITA mission through their volunteer teaching and their directing of our public and our public service programs. Finally, the volunteer members of the NITA Board of Trustees and NITA Foundation Board shared their talent, their time, and their treasure to insure that NITA weathered all of the rough seas of the last few years. I have been honored to work shoulder to shoulder with all of you during this three year “adventure.”
I look forward to continuing to teach for NITA and help Karen in any way that I can.
John T. Baker