New Look. New Year. Renewed Commitment.

2011 was a banner year. Working with partners and stakeholders around the country last year, we made significant advances on several key projects. We launched a new initiative, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, in a year when law schools are under more scrutiny than ever. We published Rebuilding Justice: Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care, a book that has helped us educate people about the courts, their role in our democracy, and the challenges they are now facing, as well as our proposed solutions to those challenges. We brought together plaintiff and defense counsel to develop initial discovery protocols for employment cases alleging adverse action. We convened more than 70 state court judges, practitioners, academics, state JPE program coordinators, and other leaders in the field at a first-of-its-kind national conference on evaluating appellate judges. To name only a few.

At a broader level, we further developed and defined our initiatives, which we now call Quality Judges, Rule One, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers and Honoring Families. And we’ve created more ways to communicate what we’re working on in those areas, including three new newsletters: Selection Snapshots, Rule One Review, and Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. Of course, our first newsletter, Transparent Courthouse® Quarterly continues to keep our supporters, partners, colleagues and friends updated on our work.

We also grew as an organization in 2011. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we’re now housed in John Moye Hall on the campus of the University of Denver, a move that will allow us to continue to grow and to be a meeting place for leaders from around the country who are championing innovation in the civil justice system.  (Speaking of growing, we’re currently hiring.)

Finally, we’ve launched a new website to assure that people who want to improve the civil justice system have access to news, information and resources—research, recommended models, models in implementation, and measurement of models in implementation—that will help them do it.

We’re now looking forward to 2012 and we feel fortunate that you’re joining us for the ride.

Happy New Year!