2012 began NITA’s journey towards its next 40 years. The continued theme this year was innovation throughout our learn-by-doing programs, publications, and studio71. The end of 2012 has brought some exciting transitions to the NITA community. We say farewell and thank you to our beloved Executive Director, John Baker, and are excited to welcome Karen Lockwood as our new leader. She brings a new level of excitement and eagerness to NITA.
This year in Programs NITA ran 22 public service programs, 121 custom programs and 60 public programs. Technology and innovative advancements continue to reign through our in-person programming with adding in video lectures to be viewed prior to the programs, advanced drills technique, improved online program platform and training in new skills. Spanning the three sectors of programs and the dedication of our faculty, NITA has trained nearly 5,000 attorneys during this calendar year. You should all be proud of this number.
The NITA Foundation continues to sponsor a number of legal service attorneys and need-based attorneys to attend our public programs. The Foundation awarded 71 public service enrollment spots and 88 need-based scholarships. Thank you for everyone’s generous donations that make this possible.
The Publications team has published nearly 20 books. Of those books, six were new case file titles and four were new or updated additions to the Malone’s Little Books series. Since October, NITA has released 20 e-books, which are now available on Amazon and iTunes. We are also working on an enhanced e-book of The Effective Deposition which will include video, and should be released in January. Over the next year we plan to convert the rest of NITA’s backlist titles, as well as new titles as they are published, to the e-book format.
In its first full year studio71 really took off. We were able to hold, and fill, six online deposition programs and we have nine on the calendar for 2013. These programs truly are one-of-a-kind, as was shown when they were named the winner of the ACLEA’s Best Award for Programming in 2012. This fall marked NITA’s first live webcast which will kick start us going into 2013, when we will have at least one live, online event each month. In addition to the online learning-by-doing programs, live webcasts, and growing on-demand content library, studio71 also houses the content library for program directors to review and select content to be used in their programs. Thanks to everyone who has lent their expertise to this growing content library. We would not be able to make these innovative leaps without your contributions.
We cannot thank you enough for all you do for our organization. Your volunteer teaching efforts make a large impact on our mission to reach the legal community all across the world.
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