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.
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.
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.