Rebecca Love Kourlis believes in the foundations of the American legal system and has dedicated her career, both in and out of the courts, to ensuring that the system provides justice for all. She served Colorado’s judiciary for nearly two decades, first as a trial court judge and then as a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.
During her time on the bench, Kourlis witnessed a system increasingly under attack from outside forces—one that was failing to deliver the justice she swore to uphold. So, in January 2006, she resigned from the Supreme Court to do something about it.
She established IAALS, where she serves as Executive Director.
Her work at the helm of IAALS is resolute in its focus of continuous improvement of the American legal system, and a logical off-shoot of her accomplishments on the bench where she spearheaded significant reforms in the judicial system relating to juries, family law, and attorney regulation.
Kourlis’ legal expertise is rich and diverse. She began her career with the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs, and then started a small practice in rural northwest Colorado where she worked in natural resources, water, public lands, oil and gas, and mineral law.
In 1987, Kourlis was appointed as a trial court judge with a general jurisdiction docket. She served as Water Judge and later as Chief Judge of the District. In 1994, Kourlis returned to Denver and worked as an arbitrator and mediator for the Judicial Arbiter Group. She was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1995.
Justice Kourlis accepted the 2007 Legal Reform Organization of the Year honor from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She has also received numerous individual honors, including the American Bar Association (ABA) Justice Center's 2012 John Marshall Award, the ABA Judicial Division’s 2009 Robert B. Yegge Award For Outstanding Contribution In The Field Of Judicial Administration, and the 2008 Regis College Civis Princeps citizenship award. Kourlis and her husband Tom were named the 2010 Citizens of the West by the National Western Stock Show.
Kourlis earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford University Law School. She is a Colorado native and daughter of former Governor John A. Love.