Message from Our Executive Director

We held our annual Rebuilding Justice Award Dinner at the end of last month, honoring The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the law schools that participated in developing learning outcomes for our Foundations for Practice project—Columbia Law School, Seattle University School of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. 

It was wonderful to see everyone at the gala and to celebrate what we have achieved together—not just with the honorees, but with you as well. Kathryn Reilly, a partner at Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, delivered the keynote address and made the case for law firm hiring to change in line with our Foundations recommendations. The successes her firm has seen truly represent the impact of our work on the future of the legal profession. Chief Justice Scott Bales was also in attendance and spoke briefly about the transition to his leadership this September. Thank you to everyone who attended, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director 
May 2019 

Honoring Becky's Lifetime of Service

For Rebecca Love Kourlis, justice for all isn’t simply a phrase we repeat as Americans. It is a calling to a higher principle of our democracy that must be preserved and protected. Her passion led to the founding of IAALS, which she has grown for the last 13 years, stewarding the positive and practical changes for which we are known.

As Becky now transitions toward retirement in September, we hope you will join us in honoring her commitment and dedication to the legal system—and the people who depend upon it—with a gift in her honor.

News from IAALS
Justice for All:
Read the 2018 IAALS
Annual Report

We are proud to present you with our  2018 Annual Report, which highlights our work and accomplishments from the last year within the important context of Justice for All.


Our legal system is complex and, for many, beyond reach. Courts, with their dense rules and processes, were developed in a different era and struggle to adapt to modern expectations.

Many litigants are deserting the system for other alternatives—and those who do try to navigate the system often do so without the help of a lawyer, which further compounds their frustrations. And, outdated legal education models fail to put clients at the center of legal practice, and the regulatory framework of the system prevents new legal service offerings from taking hold.

In these places—where real reform is hard but essential—IAALS does its work.

Read the Report.

Alli Gerkman to Receive Trailblazer Award

On May 17, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association will honor IAALS Senior Director Alli Gerkman with the Mary Lathrop Trailblazer Award at their “All Rise” 42nd Annual Convention. The award is presented annually to “an outstanding female attorney who has enriched the community through her legal and civic activities.” The CWBA is honoring Alli for her outstanding work to improve legal education, the legal profession, and the legal system at large—a true legal trailblazer.


Alli has enriched the legal community in Denver through her involvement and leadership. At the same time, her impact is much broader, as she is a leader at a national level in the improvement and innovation of legal education and the legal profession. She is thinking deeply about the way in which both can better serve those who seek justice in our system, and then she is turning that thinking into action. And, she is deeply committed to mentoring and supporting the growth and development of those around her—not just blazing the trail, but encouraging and inspiring others to follow in her path.

We are so proud to have Alli as part of our team and look forward to celebrating with her next week!

Read More. 

New Guidelines Adopted to Make Family Courts Work for the Families They Serve

The Conference of Chief Justices has adopted new Principles that seek to make family courts less adversarial, more efficient—particularly for those individuals who use the courts without the help of an attorney—and more responsive to the needs of the families involved in litigation.

“The report findings and the Principles developed from them are critical to enable courts to continue to improve services for the people who rely upon them,” said Chief Justice Mark Cady, President-Elect of CCJ and Chair of the Family Justice Initiative. 

IAALS worked with the National Center for State Courts and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges as part of the Family Justice Initiative, from which these new guidelines were developed

Read More. 

IAALS’ Court Compass Project Receives Honorable Mention at World Justice Forum

IAALS’ Court Compass project received an honorable mention as part of the World Justice Project’s World Justice Challenge 2019. The challenge, Access to Justice Solutions, “is a competition to identify, recognize, and promote good practices and successful solutions to improve access to justice” around the world.

Thirty projects were selected as finalists and showcased at the World Justice Forum at The Hague on April 29 – May 2. IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis and Senior Director Brittany Kauffman were in attendance to represent IAALS and our work. They also spoke on panels addressing legal regulation and evidence-based family justice reform.

The World Justice Forum has generated discussion around some of the most pressing legal topics in the world today. The energy that was built at the Forum is a sign that, globally, we not only recognize the issues and injustices facing vulnerable populations, but progress is possible.

Read More.

Partner Profile: Gay Cook
IAALS simply would not be what it is without the support of our staff, partners and friends. This month, we profile Gay Cook, Vice President & Corporate Officer (Ret.) at the Colorado Trust and a member of IAALS' Board of Advisors. 

Gay has been with IAALS' Board of Advisors since 2015, where she has served as a source of objectivity, perspective, intellect, and candor. We thank her for being our conscience over the years, and we are better for her lens and contributions.
News Briefs
The Important Role of Judges in Advancing Unbundled Legal Services: In a recent article, IAALS teamed with two judges to tackle the topic of unbundling and the important role that judges must play in promoting and encouraging its use. Read More. 

IAALS Remembers Justice Daryl Hecht, Champion of Civil Justice Reform Movement: It was IAALS’ honor to know and work closely with Iowa Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht, who passed away last month. Read More.
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IAALS is a national, independent research center dedicated to facilitating continuous improvement and advancing excellence in the American legal system. Our mission is to forge innovative and practical solutions to problems within the American legal system.
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