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

Rebecca Love KourlisOur 7th Annual Rebuilding Justice Award Dinner, which will honor Chief Justice Michael Bender (Ret.) and Chancellor Robert Coombe will occur on April 24 at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center. For those of you who are signed up, we will see you there, and for the rest of you, we look forward to sharing highlights of what promises to be a wonderful event with you next month.

And, a warm welcome to the founding members of the IAALS Law Firm Council, who bring their experience, expertise, and ideas from the field to inform and shape our work. We enjoyed meeting you at our inaugural meeting in March and look forward to your invaluable input and support in the future.

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
April 2014

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IAALS News
U.S. News and Alternatives to Ranking the Law School Landscape
 

Alli Gerkman, Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, was quoted in a recent U.S. News and World Report article highlighting law schools' efforts to emphasize practical skills training and a more hands-on understanding of what it means to be a lawyer. And, several Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium schools were featured prominently as doing just that.

The 2015 U.S. News and World Report law school rankings are also available and take advantage of the rich employment data now made public by the American Bar Association. But as the Economist recently noted, the rankings have not yet made use of an interesting piece of data the ABA has published: whether student jobs reported by schools were funded by law schools. Our tool, Law Jobs: By the Numbers, allows anyone to easily see how such considerations can change a school's overall job placement numbers.

 
Agenda Book Provides Insights Into Possible Revisions to Proposed Rule Amendments
 

The Agenda Book for the upcoming meeting of the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (April 10-11, 2014) is now available online. The Agenda Book includes reports from the Duke and Discovery Subcommittees, along with the Subcommittees’ current proposed rule amendments and Committee Notes, taking into account the public hearing testimony and over 2000 comments submitted during the public comment period.

We are pleased to report that many possible revisions to the proposed amendments are consistent with the discussion at IAALS’ Forum for Understanding and Comment on the Proposed Federal Rules Amendments in December.

 
Building Shared Expectations with Judicial Performance Evaluations
 

Rebecca Love Kourlis published an article entitled “Building Shared Expectations: Using Judicial Performance Evaluations to Promote Judicial Accountability” in the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association’s Winter 2014 edition of The Coffee House. We have also shared information about our recent publication, Recommended Tools for Evaluating Appellate Judges, with members of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

In other JPE news, a proposal calling for commission-based gubernatorial appointment with retention elections and performance evaluation is progressing in the Minnesota legislature, and Utah opted to include Justice Court judges in its JPE program.

 
Rebecca Love Kourlis on Divorce Source Radio
 

 

IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis recently spoke with Deborah Moskovitch and Steve Peck, the hosts of Divorce Source Radio, about the work IAALS is doing to create a more dignified, fair, and affordable process for separation and divorce.

Highlighting the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families at the University of Denver and IAALS' current research efforts focused on the in-court processes for divorce and separation, Kourlis explains how the end goal is to create a process that empowers families to resolve the legal and financial issues associated with divorce or separation while simultaneously focusing on the needs of their children both during the process and into the future.

Click here to listen to the full radio interview.

 
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