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

Rebecca Love KourlisJustice Sandra Day O'Connor has been an active voice in the call for improving our legal system since stepping down from the Supreme Court. In addition to her award-winning efforts to better civics and voter education, she has worked closely with IAALS since 2009 to promote better models for selecting our nation's judges. Justice O'Connor launched our Quality Judges Initiative and our collaboration will bring a very exciting announcement later this month. Stay tuned!

Rebecca Love Kourlis, IAALS Executive Director
July 2014

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Cases Without Counsel: IAALS to Explore Self-Representation in U.S. Family Court

Last week, IAALS announced a first-of-its-kind national project to examine the growing trend of American families who represent themselves in family court.

Self-represented litigants (SRLs) make up a considerable portion of all those who use our nation’s family courts and the Cases Without Counsel project will focus on their experiences using family courts.

The project involves in-person interviews with SRLs in four to five jurisdictions around the country. Study results will be used to inform and develop recommendations for ways in which states can meet the needs of SRLs and improve the American legal system as a whole.

Click here to learn more.

IAALS on Colorado Public Radio: Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers with the Foundations They Need

On June 5, Alli Gerkman, Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, appeared on Colorado Public Radio to talk about efforts being made on a national scale to change legal education and how Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers is leading the way.

During the interview, Gerkman acknowledges that law firms and legal employers are saying that new lawyers are ill equipped to succeed in the practice of law directly out of law school. No one factor is to blame for this disparity, but the problem presents an opportunity to bring the profession together with law schools to forge a better path forward.

Click here to listen to the interview.

IAALS Partners with Law Firm Council to Support Mission

IAALS warmly welcomes and honors the founding members of its newly formed Law Firm Council (LFC). The LFC provides a group of national firms who are invested intellectually and financially in IAALS’ mission with an opportunity to have a voice in our work.

Working directly with attorneys allows IAAS to remain timely and relevant in our approach, and the partnership provides members with a variety of benefits — educational, business development, networking, and philanthropic.

For information about joining the IAALS Law Firm Council, please contact Barbara Blackwell, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, at or (303) 871-6613.

Proposed Federal Rule Amendments Move One Step Closer to Implementation


At its last meeting, the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure approved the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This is another important step forward in the long process of adopting the revisions.

The approved amendments will be reviewed by the Judicial Conference of the United States and, if approved, will move to the U.S. Supreme Court for a review and vote before May 1, 2015. From there, the proposals will become effective December 1, 2015, unless Congress rejects, modifies, or defers them in the interim.

Click here to read more.

Initiative Updates


Selection Snapshots

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