University of Denver

IAALS Advances Justice with Liz Anderson, PhD

Senior Director

IAALS simply would not be what it is without the support of our partners and friends. They are essential to our efforts and hail from a wide range of backgrounds, viewpoints, and sectors. Every month, IAALS will shine the spotlight on one such person and take you behind the scenes for a lighthearted glimpse into those upon whose guidance and support we rely. Together we are advancing justice.

Elizabeth Anderson, Founder, Embraced Wisdom Resource Group, LLC

Last year, we were in a bind. Our Foundations for Practice project was speeding along but we needed to develop a set of learning outcomes from our survey’s results. To do that, we needed to hire a consultant who really understood learning outcomes. We were looking all over the country and I talked with a friend about it, who said, “You really need to meet my friend. I think this is exactly what she does.” Turns out, it was.

Just as we were meeting with Elizabeth, someone else in the education field also directed us to her: “You should talk to Elizabeth Anderson.” Who knew that we would find someone in our own backyard? Sometimes the answer to your problem is closer than you think. Elizabeth has brought a level of expertise, thoughtfulness, and, often, much-needed levity, that gives us and our partners great confidence in the work we are doing to advance legal education through development and use of learning outcomes.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for helping us bring this project to life.

Earlier this month, we caught up with Liz to bring you our latest Partner Profile.

How are you involved with IAALS? I am the founder of Embraced Wisdom Resource Group, LLC, which provides services in instructional design and implementation, technology implementation, technical writing, and curriculum/training conversion to online formats. I am a PhD graduate of Morgridge College of Education at University of Denver. About a year ago, while walking in a park in Lafayette, I met Alli through a mutual friend. We got to talking about IAALS, Alli’s work on legal education and Foundations for Practice, and I shared my experience in curriculum development and standard-based curriculum alignment. This conversation led to an ongoing partnership with IAALS. We are working to transform the 77 foundations into learning outcomes and guides of use for law schools.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness would be to live without time constraints. I love my work and get deeply absorbed in my work. To be able to spend time with my family and friends, and devote time to work without feeling like I don’t have enough time, that would be perfect happiness.

What is the trait that you most admire in others? Perseverance. I really admire people who have come from a hard place and beaten the odds to make it to where they are today. They have defined success for themselves and overcome roadblocks and hardship. I just think that is really impressive.

What is your greatest extravagance? Travel. I love to travel and will go anywhere! I lived in a RV for two years with my two children and traveled around the United States. We only stopped because my kids wanted to attend a traditional high school after several years of online education. They wanted to be involved in clubs and sports. I’ll get back to it just as soon as I can. I have shifted my life to be able to work in an online environment so I can get back on the road.

What do you most value in your friends? I value my friends for accepting me for who and what I am. I am a bit of a workaholic and want to do it all. I take on too many jobs and too many projects but I love it all and my friends get that. My friends are still my friends even if I haven’t talked to them in three months. They understand that I get caught up in things.

What historical figure do you most identify with? The first name that pops in my head is Louis Pasteur. So, my father was a chemist, and, in fact, my bachelor’s degree is in biochemistry and molecular biology. I grew up knowing I was going to be a scientist. My mother was a teacher. She bought me and my sister an entire collection of books telling the stories and traits of famous people. I remember the Louis Pasteur book because it was my sister’s favorite and we read it every night. His story was one of never-ending perseverance. He discovered things that people never thought were possible, defying the odds, disregarding the naysayers and cynics. I feel like Louis Pasteur in my life as an African-American woman pursuing science degrees and a PhD in educational research methods and statistics. People questioned my place. I learned early on that I must believe in myself—no one is going to do that for me—and if I want to accomplish great things, it’s up to me and me only.