Known for its lively and uniquely interesting style of CLE, Barristers was founded in 1994 by William R. Newman, an 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 twenty-eight years, Barristers has continued to seek out and experiment with new approaches to make CLE more useful and -- quite frankly -- less boring. And in furtherance of our goal of providing high-quality CLE to lawyers throughout the country, Barristers later contracted with White Raven Technology, LLC to make most of our courses available on the internet, in the form of live webcasts and pre-recorded on-demand courses. As a consequence, Barristers courses are now offered online in multiple states and cover virtually every area of practice. In all this time, however, Barristers remains committed to our 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 Seminar, Get Another at Half-Price" offer on Live Webcasts and In-Person seminars);
3) CLE that is convenient to busy lawyers.
Participate in our seminars in-person where available, 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 over two decades and later devoted 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 especially intellectual property law.
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.
In the summer of 2022, Billy was awarded Emeritus status at the University after nearly three decades of full-time service to the college and its students. While he still teaches a few university courses on a part-time basis, he is now free to devote more time to several new projects, including an upcoming podcast series that will likely be of interest to long-time patrons of Barristers seminars.
Billy is the proud father of two sons. Oldest son Will is a graduate and Presidential Scholar of Tulane University and the graduate school at The University of Southern Mississippi. Proficient in several languages, Will now teaches as a language specialist in Washington, D.C. Billy's younger son Sam earned his undergraduate degree at The University of Southern Mississippi, and his law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2020. Sam is now a practicing litigator in Gulfport, but he will still make time to perform across the South with his band, Mississippi Moonlight. Billy lives in Hattiesburg with his wife, Charissa, and their Jack Russell terrier, Winnie.
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.
John F. DeLancey
John is the President of White Raven Technology LLC, a tech company that contracts with Barristers to provide our IT services. In that capacity he and his company design and maintain the e-commerce and video-delivery platforms that enable our customers to access our quality CLE content with ease.
John is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and lifelong technology enthusiast who turned his interest into a successful consultancy. Although an independent IT contractor, John and his company are available when needed to troubleshoot anything IT-related at Barristers.
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 enjoy studying both the company's and the theme parks' history, entertainment, and business methods.
Seasonal On-site Staff