The Next Phase of IAALS: New Leadership, Organization, and Website
In IAALS’ first annual report, nearly 12 years ago, we described our “commitment to work toward a restoration of trust in our legal system for all Americans.” Today, that commitment remains as strong and as important as ever. We were a young organization then with a staff of six, working to find our place among similar organizations—but with a voice of our own. In the time since, we not only found our voice, but IAALS emerged as a leader for change across the American legal system and a champion for the public’s involvement in that change process.
Over the years, IAALS itself has undergone many changes. From gathering around a single, small table at our first office, we have established ourselves as a presence on the University of Denver campus, within the beautiful John Moye Hall. Our staff has grown from those initial six to twenty-three experts in their fields: full time and part time staff, remote staff, consultants, and fellows. And our impacts are felt nationwide—IAALS is now a name well known within our spheres of influence—and as we continue to grow our partnerships with courts, judges, law firms, and law schools, our ability to create lasting change increases exponentially.
Today, we announce the next phase of IAALS, in recognition that continuous improvement is not only vital for our legal system—it is vital within IAALS. Over the last year, we have been working to reshape and restructure IAALS to allow us to be as nimble, visible, and impactful as possible. To that end, we have bolstered our leadership structure; Alli Gerkman and Brittany Kauffman have assumed the roles of Senior Directors at IAALS. They will directly oversee the programmatic work throughout IAALS, in coordination with our Executive Director, Rebecca Love Kourlis. Natalie Knowlton is now Director of Special Projects, working from San Francisco and within close proximity to many of our technologist partners. And, we’ve filled out our ranks with Managers who expand our capacity to do more programmatic work, and have more impact.
That programmatic work is not itself changing, but how we talk about it is. Previously, we housed our work and projects within four initiatives: Quality Judges, Rule One, Honoring Families, and Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. While our work still focuses primarily in these areas—judicial excellence, civil justice reform, family justice reform, legal education, and the legal profession—we have decided to phase out the initiative distinctions. Without these silos, we can better integrate our projects, our stakeholders, and our recommendations.
Our new website, launching today, will showcase these changes and make it easier for everyone—from lawyers and judges to everyday citizens—to find the focus areas and projects we are working on, to read our publications and recommendations, and to understand the collective scope of our impacts. The new website is simpler, streamlined, and easier to use—much like our hopes for the American legal system. And now, IAALS is even better poised to tackle the challenges to get us there. Justice, unstuck.
Thank you for your continued support. Our work cannot be done without you.