IAALS Report - A Publication of IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
Message from Our Executive Director

Rebecca Love KourlisThe year begins in a great way for IAALS as we welcome Chief Judge Janice Davidson (Ret.) to the team as a Senior Advisor. She will be an invaluable resource for us. Also, there has been great interest in our Working Smarter, Not Harder publication, which will debut later this month. Keep an eye out for it. It describes the caseflow management practices used by some of the best judges in the country to keep their courtrooms efficient.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
January 2014

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Chief Judge Janice Davidson (Ret.) Joins IAALS as Senior Advisor

We are very happy to welcome Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice B. Davidson (Ret.) as Senior Advisor at IAALS, beginning this month.

Chief Judge Davidson sat on the Colorado Court of Appeals for twenty-five years until retiring this year. She will be involved with all of IAALS’ initiatives to some extent, but will focus her time primarily on the Quality Judges Initiative.

Speaking of Quality Judges, Rebecca Love Kourlis paid a pre-holiday, virtual visit to LXBN TV to talk about the effects of partisan elections of judges across the country. You can watch the interview here.

Honoring Families in 2014: A Focus on In-Court Divorce Solutions

With the close of 2013, the Honoring Families Initiative celebrates the successful development and implementation of our out-of-court model for divorcing and separating families. HFI is committed to evaluating this model, and, as we move into 2014, we look forward to also turning our attention to the in-court processes governing divorce and separation, and corresponding parental responsibility matters.

By focusing on high-impact areas such as self-represented litigants, triage and differentiated caseflow management, and post-decree modifications, HFI hopes to identify constructive and positive changes in the court processes for divorcing and separating families. We welcome your input in this effort, and encourage you to pass along news of any innovative family court processes and procedures already in place around the country.

Preserving Our Jury System

Jurors have a unique perspective on our legal system. Recently, Rebecca Love Kourlis spoke with a municipal court juror from California. The juror shared some frustrations with how the trial proceeded and a few suggestions for how things could have been handled differently. Many courts around the country are already working to address these concerns—but not all of them.

To preserve the jury system, we need to be sure that the process is effective and efficient for everyone, including our jurors.

Click here to read more about creating effective and efficient courts.

Loyola Chicago and Georgia State Join Our Law School Consortium


We are excited to announce that two new law schools have joined the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium: Loyola University Chicago and Georgia State University. Members of the Consortium demonstrate significant institutional commitment to reforming legal education through innovation, which can include Carnegie-inspired teaching methods, student-centered instruction, and curriculum and courses that tackle the core competencies new attorneys need to practice.

John Walsh, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, sat down with us last year to talk about innovations that law schools can make to give students a better idea of what to expect when they walk into a courtroom as new attorneys.

Initiative Updates


Selection Snapshots

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