National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Public Service Training Courses

Public Service Courses

NITA’s public service efforts support our mission to achieve equal justice by serving all sides of the courtroom. We do this by helping public service lawyers learn advocacy skills, through dedicated training. The advocates we seek to reach, beyond those who attend our public and custom programs, require resources from donations, grants, and board support. Additionally we sponsor programs by offering a reduced pricing structure because of limited resources. Public service programs created by NITA teach relevant advocacy skills to dedicated groups of attorneys and advocates working in areas including, but not limited to:

  • Child advocacy
  • Death penalty defense
  • Disability
  • Domestic violence
  • Elder law
  • Immigration
  • Legal Services
  • Tribal justice

To help achieve our mission, we devote resources to programs designed to improve the skills of those who represent underserved communities. This commitment is shown through our Board of Trustees allocating a percentage of reserves to be spent each year for our public service mission along with donations and grants. While many public service organizations approach NITA about coordinating training for their attorneys, our public service funding and volunteer faculty resources are limited. We try our best to accommodate organizations that apply and match our public service criteria by also extending reduced fee programming.

To qualify for these types of training, your organization must meet the following public interest programming criteria:

  1. Attorneys or advocates who serve indigent or disadvantaged populations, including, but not limited to, child advocacy, death penalty defense, disability, domestic violence, criminal law areas, immigration, legal services matters, and tribal justice; AND
  2. Public agency lawyers who work in the areas mentioned above would be eligible automatically; OR
  3. Private practice lawyers who work in these areas are eligible if at least 50% of their practice is devoted to providing legal services for clients who are indigent and unable to secure fee-based legal representation. (Court-appointed work in these subject areas is included in the 50% qualification.)

Agencies and organizations that wish to apply for our reduced fee public service programming must meet the criteria above, and provide some level of funding to train their attorneys. We welcome the opportunity to work within the organization's funding parameters and require a specific agreement that ensures everyone understands their responsibilities for the financial and staffing resources to make a successful program. To apply for a public service program, fill out this application and email it to: [email protected]

"An incredible opportunity that will reap rewards not only for me, but also for all of my future clients."

Steven Shafer, 2017 NITA Public Service Program Participant

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NITA's Public Service Partners

NITA proudly highlights our public service program, fully or partially NITA-funded, and our partnering organizations:

What are NITA's Public Service programs all about?

Hear what participants at public service programs had to say about their experience: