Eduardo Gonzalez Named 2024 Recipient of IAALS’ Alli Gerkman Legal Visionary Award

Kelsey Montague Kelsey Montague
Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
February 2, 2024

"headshot of long-haired man"IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, announced today that it is awarding Eduardo Gonzalez, Program Officer for Civil Justice at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the fourth annual Alli Gerkman Legal Visionary Award. The award is designed to encourage and showcase innovators, risk takers, visionaries, and emerging leaders who bring a different perspective and a reform-minded approach to the improvement of our legal system, and who are early in their legal careers.

Throughout his career, Gonzalez has facilitated a narrative change for civil justice—one that right-sizes the role of courts, lawyers, and new and existing community advocates and social services; reframes civil justice as an empowerment tool to build community resilience; and one that restores trust in our legal system. He honors providers, court professionals, reformers, and new advocates whose work is often undervalued and goes unnoticed, and he cultivates crucial career paths to civil justice work for others. His frame for redesigning institutions rests on understanding civil justice as a means to empower communities. 

“Eduardo represents so much of what the Alli Gerkman Legal Visionary Award is about,” said Brittany Kauffman, CEO of IAALS. “He is early in his career, but his impacts and passion for innovation have outpaced his short time in the profession. And, like IAALS, Eduardo serves as a trusted connector and convener for civil justice changemakers that often do not have the opportunity to work together across jurisdictions and disciplines.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from IAALS,” said Gonzalez. “For me, achieving civil justice for all has always been about empowering people and fostering resilience in communities. Access to legal help is absolutely an important milestone, but not the ultimate terminus for justice work. To propel the movement further we need continuous collaboration across sectors that can steward long-term partnerships among social and community services, advocates, courts, lawyers, researchers, policymakers, and especially with the people in the communities we serve.

IAALS looks forward to collaborating with Gonzalez during the coming year to elevate his important work and further our common vision of ensuring everyone has a clear path to justice. He will be presented with the award at IAALS’ Rebuilding Justice Award Dinner on April 25, 2024.

The award was created in honor of Alli Gerkman—a leader at IAALS and in national legal education and legal profession reform—who transformed the way our nation thinks about legal education and the role lawyers play in our society. A true visionary, Gerkman helped open the door to a fundamental reframing of how lawyers enter the profession of law and how the profession itself is regulated. After she passed away from cancer in 2019, IAALS created the award to honor her—and those visionaries who follow in her footsteps, like Gonzalez.