JULY/AUGUST 2014 – Robert A. Stein, founder of The Stein Law Firm, PLLC, recently returned from a trip to Boulder, Colorado, where he participated in a trial advocacy program sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA). The Boulder, Colorado based NITA is a non-profit organization that has been active in continuing legal education for more than four decades. During the 10-day program, Stein gave demonstrations on opening statements, direct and cross-examination, and other aspects of trial skills, to groups of practicing attorneys who want to improve their court room skills.
“Standing in a court room and convincing 12 people to rule in one’s client’s favor is an incredible part of the experience of being a lawyer,” says Stein. “When I stand in front of a jury, there’s a palpable sense of history that goes all the way to the nation’s Founding Fathers. There’s nothing quite like it.” For NITA, Stein helps colleagues improve their court room techniques – but there is something else at work, as well. “These programs help reinforce the joy that’s inherent in the process of going to trial,” he says. “We are the few that can stand in front of a jury and present cases that give our clients access to justice. NITA provides a forum for sharing knowledge and experience.”
In addition to the Boulder sessions, Stein also recently participated in a similar program on behalf of NITA, at Hofstra University, where he has been teaching advocacy since 1983. “The reason I do it is simple,” says Stein. “First and foremost is for the joy of advocacy and the fulfillment of my obligation to my own professional mentors.”