December 17, 2007
News & Events
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NAAG Creates Research And Training Institute
Chris Toth, Acting Executive Director
In a very important and exciting development for Attorneys General offices around the country, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Executive Committee authorized the creation of the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI) during the Association’s recent Winter Meeting in Park City, Utah. This decision reflects the intent of the Executive Committee to develop and implement a long- term vision for an organized research and training program. NAGTRI will allow the Association’s membership to be afforded benefits similar to those enjoyed by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), which provides training through its research, development and technical assistance arm, the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI), and NDAA and U.S. Attorney offices through the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C.
While some individual states do have their own training institutes, many do not. Even for those states that have current programs, NAGTRI will have the advantage of drawing upon the resources of all Attorneys General offices to maximize program offerings, as well as facilitate creativity and responsiveness to both long-term and short-fuse developing issues. Additionally, NAGTRI will provide economies of scale not available to individual states.
NAGTRI’s goals include the following:
- Provide an umbrella to expand, standardize and increase the professional quality of research and training;
- Allow NAAG to develop an extended national faculty of instructors and strengthen networks in areas of specialty across Attorneys General offices;
- Establish expectations and accountability for research and training and encourage long-term planning;
- Encourage a national dialogue on research and training among the Attorney General community; and
- Establish an identity and brand for NAAG research and training, which will be tailored to the unique needs of Attorneys General offices.
NAGTRI will provide a broad spectrum of services to include:
- Live NITA-style skills training (beginner and advanced)
- Written and oral appellate advocacy training
- Train the trainer programs for use in Attorneys General offices using easily duplicable techniques and materials
- Portable training and seminars that will travel to individual Attorneys General offices
- Internet-based training
- Seminars, conferences and training in areas of both ongoing and timely interest and need
- The creation of special handbooks on various topics as needed
- The production of a periodic electronic publication that will capture innovative and effective programs in use by Attorneys General and others for the benefit of the entire Attorney General community
- The production of a periodic electronic journal that will include articles and papers from Assistant Attorneys General and NAAG staff
- The development of monographs on issues that can be adopted by individual Attorneys General offices as a constituent service
NAGTRI Initial Course Offerings for January-June 2008
At the same meeting that the Executive Committee approved the creation of NAGTRI, the Committee also approved an initial course curriculum for the first half of 2008, and the Mission Foundation1 approved the funding of those courses, which are:
- Trial Advocacy Skills (two sessions)
- Electronic Discovery Best Practices
- Evidentiary Issues Skills
- Depositions and Negotiations Skills
- Ethical Issues for Government Attorneys (with Train the Trainer Component)
- Appellate Practice
Dates and locations of these trainings will be published very soon.
NAAG realizes that due to limited training budgets, many states cannot always pay to send their assistants to training. Accordingly, thanks to the Mission Foundation, the above courses will be scholarship based. We anticipate that future courses will include a combination of fee-based and scholarship-based offerings.
It is our plan to steadily and effectively realize the goals of NAGTRI in a methodical and measured way. As we move forward with this new concept, some goals will be realized sooner than others. Through this process, we will be committed to providing the best services possible and continually critiquing the quality of our services and programming, building on what is effective and dispensing with what is not.We view our membership as essential to this process, and to fostering a climate at NAGTRI of quality, responsiveness, creativity and innovation. If you have any ideas and suggestions as to how we may better develop NAGTRI, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We at NAAG look forward to working with all of you as we move forward and serve you through NAGTRI.
1 The Mission Foundation, a 501c(3) organization, was incorporated in 2002 to, among other things, “enhance the work of the membership of the National Association of Attorneys General by engaging in education, research, and training programs designed to support the Attorneys General in their capacities as government officials.” The Mission Foundation board is comprised of seven Attorneys General. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson currently serves as Chair of the board.
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