About Barristers Educational Services
Barristers Educational Services was founded in 1994 by William R. Newman, a practicing attorney in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Like most lawyers, Billy realized soon after passing the bar that law school teaches lawyers very little about the practical nuts and bolts of everyday law practice. He attended several CLE courses hoping to fill in some of the gaps and was sorely disappointed when most of these seminars failed to focus on the practical "how to's." Billy also felt that seminar reference manuals should be more than mere copies of applicable statutes. Hence Barristers was born.
The first Barristers course was offered in July 1994 in Natchez, Mississippi. Appropriately, the first speaker at this first seminar was an actual barrister, the late Lawrence Branyon, a barrister of the British bar who completed his career in Natchez. Mr. Branyon opened the inaugural Barristers offering with a very practical, step-by-step discussion of drafting basic Wills.
In the ensuing eighteen years, Barristers has continued to seek out and experiment with new approaches to make CLE more useful and -- quite frankly -- less boring. Barristers courses are now offered in six states and cover virtually every area of practice. In all this time, however, Barristers remains committed to its three founding goals:
1) CLE that is interesting and practice oriented, with an emphasis on the "nuts and bolts" of law practice;
2) CLE that is affordable (as evidenced by Barristers' famous "Buy One In-Person Seminar, Get Another at Half-Price" offer);
3) CLE that is convenient to where you live and work.
Participate in our seminars at multiple venues across the South, or experience the supreme convenience of our live webcasts or on-demand courses (available anytime
and anywhere with an internet connection).
The People of Barristers
William R. Newman, J.D.
Founder and President
Billy Newman practiced law full-time for fourteen years and now devotes the bulk of his time as a full-time professor at The University of Southern Mississippi. Billy founded Barristers in 1994. His years of practice and his academic duties at the University contribute to the innovative Barristers approach to CLE. He is also the originator of the "Trivia Challenge," the popular trivia contests that are a staple at every Barristers seminar.
Billy began his career in Jackson, Mississippi at Thomas, Price, Alston, Jones and Davis, where he led an active practice in complex commercial litigation, business entities, Wills and estates, and intellectual property.
After moving home to Hattiesburg, he developed further expertise in the area of intellectual property, a topic he teaches today at the University and in a popular annual course for Barristers.
Billy received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from The University of Southern Mississippi where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame and where he received the coveted "Silver Bowl Award for the Top Graduating Scholar." He then earned his law degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law where he was an Eastland Scholar, Articles Editor of the law review, a member of the National Moot Court Team, and president of the student body.
Billy is the proud father of Will, a senior Presidential Scholar at Tulane University, and Sam, a sophomore Lucky Day Scholar at the University of Southern Mississippi. Billy lives in Hattiesburg with his wife, Charissa.
Charissa Newman is the point person on all logistics of seminar planning and production. She oversees seminar advertising, production of seminar manuals, and coordination of meeting sites. She also maintains all registration and attendance records and is the librarian for Barristers' extensive collection of research on virtually every conceivable legal topic. Charissa's attention to detail is essential to the success of our programs.
A native of New Orleans, Charissa holds an undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. In 2006 she earned a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi. A Licensed Professional Counselor, Charissa earned substantial experience in the mental health field before joining her husband at Barristers in 2011. Our customers now enjoy the benefits of Charissa's well-honed counseling skills when she contributes to the Barristers online blog with tips for lawyers on coping with the strains and stresses of law practice.
Bridget H. Robinson, J. D.
Bridget Robinson edits most of the seminar manuals associated with Barristers courses (with the primary exception of our “lightning round” seminars – where the seminar speakers prepare their own “bite-sized” chapters to accompany their fast-paced lectures). Bridget’s goal is to ensure that the manual remains a practical and helpful resource for our attendees long after the seminar is over. She also recruits most of the presenters at our seminars and coordinates the details of each speaker’s presentation.
Bridget practiced law for over eighteen years in a wide range of practice areas, including extensive experience in litigation as well as work in business and consumer finance, bankruptcy, and foreclosure. This real-world experience is evident in the high-quality contributions Bridget makes to our seminar manuals and agendas.
A native of Natchez, Mississippi, Bridget earned an undergraduate degree in marketing from The University of Southern Mississippi. In 1992, she graduated from the Mississippi College School of Law, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. She and her husband, Lyle (also an attorney), live in Madison, Mississippi, with three daughters – Sarah Beth, Claire, and Abby.
Sabrina W. Woodward
Sabrina Woodward has been an integral part of the Barristers team since 1997. A former paralegal, she has a special rapport with the hundreds of lawyers served by Barristers, and she has a keen sense of what lawyers want, need, and expect in their CLE.
A graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi and a full-time staff member until 2007, Sabrina now serves as a special consultant to Barristers and assists in recruiting the best available speakers on each seminar topic. Over the years she has cultivated extensive contacts with the most prominent legal practitioners in the Southeast. As a result, you can regularly count on seminar presentations by lawyers who are true leaders in their areas of practice.
Sabrina and her husband, Christopher, live in Madison, Mississippi, with son McKinley and daughter Shelby.
John F. DeLancey
John is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and lifelong computer geek who turned his interest into a successful consultancy. John takes care of all things IT-related at Barristers, including website maintenance, online CLE production and troubleshooting, and more.
Aside from his "all things internet" obsession, Mr. DeLancey loves anything related to the Walt Disney Company, but mostly the Walt Disney World resort. He and his wife visit at least once a year and regard the resort as their one true escape from daily pressures.
John is also a hot air balloon pilot-to-be, an amateur novelist and bibliophile, musician, Harley rider, entrepreneur, and aspiring polyglot with an abiding and specific interest in absolutely everything.
Except frogs. John hates frogs.
Seasonal On-site Staff