University of Denver

Quality Judges

How does someone become a judge in the United States? The answer varies from state to state and sometimes court to court. And, some methods for selecting state court judges are more effective than others in choosing judges who are qualified and impartial, and who inspire public trust in our courts. The Quality Judges Initiative at IAALS is dedicated to promoting models for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges that preserve these qualities, ensure public accountability, and keep politics from undermining the critical role of our judiciary.

Featured: 

Judicial Recusal Procedures

Judicial recusal in appropriate circumstances is essential to ensuring a judiciary that is qualified and impartial and that inspires public trust...

Transparent Courthouse Revisited

This publication offers a menu of recommended practices and tools for designing and implementing a judicial performance evaluation program that...

Judicial Nominating Commissions

The judicial nominating commission is the key to commission-based appointment, or “merit selection,” of state court judges.

Judicial Performance Evaluation

We are at the forefront of efforts to improve and expand programs for evaluating the performance of state and federal judges.

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Judicial performance evaluation (JPE) took center stage in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Voir Dire, the American Board of Trial Advocates’ magazine. The cover story, written by IAALS’ own Rebecca Love Kourlis and Natalie Knowlton, discussed JPE programs in place today around the country and how trial attorneys, in...Read More
Blog Post
As part of the University of Denver’s Engaging Ideas series, IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis was interviewed about the importance of an independent judiciary—and IAALS’ model for sustaining it. In the video, titled “Judging the Judges,” Kourlis discusses how IAALS is helping improve state court systems...Read More
Blog Post
Kentucky State Representative Jason Nemes pre-filed bills at the end of 2017 that would change how state appellate judges are selected. Should the bills pass, the governor would select judges from a recommended list of qualified candidates provided by a Judicial Nominating Commission instead of forcing judges to run for...Read More
Staff: 
Executive Director
Executive Assistant to Rebecca Love Kourlis