Message from Our Executive Director

I must begin this report by writing about Alli. As you all probably know by now, our dear, wonderful colleague, Alli Gerkman, passed away on August 31 after a long fight with cancer. It was a fight in which she won every round but the last. Alli’s work in the future of legal education—and the future of the legal profession itself—is a central part of IAALS, and Alli herself was a central part of our team. We were all inspired and animated by Alli. We all laughed with her, supported her, and now we mourn her.

Ultimately, what we all know is that which Alli herself noted: “The way to make your dream live on is to make sure that others share it.” She shared our dream; we shared hers. And, we pursue that dream with even more determination and purpose in her absence. The dream is access to justice and to legal services for every American. The dream is a trusted and trustworthy court system, and a legal service delivery system that is affordable and effective. The dream is new lawyers who hit the ground running, and more experienced lawyers who truly put their clients first and design legal services that their clients need and want. It was Alli’s dream and her purpose. It is IAALS’ dream and IAALS’ purpose. As you read further into this report, we hope that you see that vision shining–and that you share it with us.


I must also note that my tenure as Executive Director of IAALS is quickly drawing to a close. Former Chief Justice Scott Bales will be taking over the helm of IAALS on Monday. Hence, at least in this capacity and in this forum, I bid you farewell. The mission of IAALS has been my life’s work and the fact that IAALS will continue to pursue that mission makes me very, very proud. But, IAALS is only as good as the people who believe in it–so, thank you for believing.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
September 2019
Read more about how Alli touched people's lives here
News from IAALS
Simple Technology Options Could Have Big Impact on Litigant Experience

From smartphones to video conferencing, there are numerous technology options that are simple, effective, and could make a great deal of difference in court users' experiences. IAALS' Eighteen Ways Courts Should Use Technology to Better Serve Their Customers explores some of these options and their potential impact on our civil justice system.

Read More.

Guest Authors Weigh in on the Influence of IAALS' Center for Out-of-Court Divorce

The Family Resolutions Specialty Court in Massachusetts helps parents of minor children work through issues related to divorce, separation, paternity, and more—and keeps the focus on the best interests of the child.  Read More.


Many innovations in education spring from the IAALS out-of-court divorce model and had an effect on the law students who participated in the on-campus center that provided the services.  Read More.

Justice for All Initiative Expands Opportunites for More States to Participate

Between 2016 and 2018, 11 states were awarded grants under the Justice for All Initiative. Now they've completed their strategic planning processes and are ready to begin the implementation phase, with common themes among plans being use of technology, strong governanance, and internal and external communications.

 

Read More.

After Long Hiatus, Las Vegas Review-Journal to Bring Back Evaluations of Nevada Judges

Nevada, which directly elects nearly all of its state judges, has never implemented an official judicial performance evaluation program. Instead, between 1992 and 2013, the state’s largest newspaper conducted its own surveys of attorneys in Clark County regarding judges seeking reelection until their survey methodology came under sharp criticism. Now the surveys are set to return, with some significant retooling.

Read More.

IAALS in the News
July 31:  Building a Better Bar featured in Law.com
August 11: 
Building a Better Bar featured in Law360
August 12: 
Building a Better Bar featured in Best Practices for Legal Education blog
August 14: 
Building a Better Bar featured in Law Week Colorado
August 16: 
Building a Better Bar featured in Above the Law
August 23:
Building a Better Bar featured in 2Civility
Get Involved
Honoring Becky's Lifetime of Service
"When we first started discussing the creation of IAALS, it became clear that Becky was one of the few people who could successfully lead the organization, tackling the challenges within our legal system, and facing its complex issues head on." - Diane 
Wallach, IAALS Board of Advisors

Read more from Diane Wallach and others as they reflect on their time working with Becky.
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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