Message from Our Executive Director

We are pleased to announce that  Russell Wheeler will be IAALS' first Fellow. We have designated him as a Fellow because—since the very first days of IAALS—Russell has dedicated his time and his extraordinary skills to helping us develop our research protocols, editing publications, patrolling the borders of impartiality to which we are committed, and offering counsel whenever asked. He served on our Board until very recently, but we cannot imagine a world in which we would lose his help. Hence, he has moved from a member of the Board to a lifetime Fellow. Thank you, Russell!

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
July 2018

Partner Profile: William Rossbach
IAALS simply would not be what it is without the support of our partners and friends. This month, we profile Bill Rossbach, Principal and Owner, Rossbach Law PC. 

Bill came to IAALS as a representative of the American Association for Justice. I think initially he was a bit skeptical about our work and our mission. Over time, he has become a friend and a trusted colleague. We thank Bill for his artful purpose and for his collegiality.

News from IAALS
Regional Meetings Spark
States to Act on
Civil Justice Reforms

Over the past two years, IAALS has been collaborating with NCSC on a three-year project to support the modernization and transformation of civil litigation in our state courts. One of the key aspects of this Civil Justice Initiative Implementation Plan is a series of regional strategic planning Summits to encourage each state to learn about civil justice reform efforts nationwide, and to provide each state with an opportunity to develop an action plan for reform or other activities in their respective jurisdictions.

While each of the states have different issues and come to the Summits at a different point in their own reform efforts, there are still common themes, including meeting the challenges and needs of self-represented litigants and better leveraging technology.

Read more.

Law School Clinics
Successfully Training Students and Serving Clients

Law school clinics are often said to serve two goals. They are a place where law students can develop and practice their legal skills in a real setting, with the safety net of faculty supervision. They also aim to serve low and modest means clients whose legal needs might otherwise go unmet. And, according to a recent study, clinics are indeed achieving these goals.

In an article in Tulane Law Review, several professors outlined their findings, which support the argument that law clinics are both preparing students to become better attorneys and also increasing access to justice.

Read more.

NSRLP Publishes Report on Costs Awards for
Self-Represented Litigants

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) recently published a paper that looks at costs awards to self-represented litigants (SRLs) in Canadian courts. The paper notes the leading Canadian cases and analyzes the development of these principles in family law matters. Generally, the report concludes that Canadian courts have broadened SRLs’ ability to obtain costs.

In a move to consider SRLs more fairly when they succeed in their cases, courts are starting to look at an SRL’s work quality instead of a quantification of how much the SRL’s time is worth. SRLs are therefore advised to keep a detailed list of the work they complete for each stage of their case to help determine what might be eligible for counsel fees should they win.


Read more.

“Legal Tech for a Change” Project to Partner Legal Aid with Tech Companies

The ABA Center for Innovation launched a new project in April that will provide legal aid organizations with free technology that will hopefully make them more efficient and able to help more clients. The project, called "Legal Tech for a Change,” will allow the Center for Innovation to serve as a broker between legal aid organization grantees and established legal technology companies. The Center will also vet potential technology solutions.

IAALS also recognizes the important role technology plays in advancing and improving our legal system, and our Court Compass project continues to explore ways to incorporate the latest technologies—as well as input from those who have been through the process—with the end goal of making the divorce and separation process simpler.


Read more.

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