April 5, 2018
The IAALS Court Compass project is exploring streamlined and simplified solutions that help people through the divorce and separation process. While the project aims to make the process better for all litigants, there is a particular focus on people who go to court without an attorney. The Court Compass project is employing a number of human-centered design tools, including in-person design sprints and other focus groups to test new processes and solutions in real time and refine them based on user feedback. IAALS and the Iowa Judicial Branch are partnering to bring a design sprint workshop to Des Moines later this month.
April 4, 2018
Another online platform to help couples streamline the divorce process has entered the market. It’s Over Easy was founded by Laura Wasser, a well-known divorce attorney who handles high-stakes celebrity divorces. “Couples today date online and bank online,” Wasser said. “They don’t mind putting in their assets and liabilities into a computer. They’re do-it-yourselfers. If they can buy an espresso maker online, they can get divorced online.”
Carolyn A. Tyler
March 29, 2018
On Thursday, April 19, IAALS will present the Conference of Chief Justices with our highest honor: the Rebuilding Justice Award. We are thrilled that several Chief Justices from across the nation will attend and Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, President of the Conference of Chief Justices and chair of the National Center for State Courts Board of Directors, will accept the award.
March 28, 2018
Talking about civil justice reform only gets us so far. The key to change is taking concrete steps on the ground and implementing practical solutions. IAALS’ own Rebecca Love Kourlis and Brittany Kauffman authored a piece for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal’s Civil Justice Playbook that dives into this discussion and highlights ways IAALS is working with judges and courts to make that change a reality in the realm of discovery.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 27, 2018
Walter is a man of many accomplishments, many firsts, many awards—none of which he ever mentions. Just to give a "flavor" (notice the food theme throughout) of some of them: graduation from high school at 16; first African American to become Student Body Vice President at the University of Denver; first African American to work for Tenneco Oil’s legal department and for Texas Instruments in Dallas, first to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas, first to head up the Environmental Protection Agency in Dallas; deputy Federal Highway Administrator in the Clinton administration and manager of Walmart’s Legal Department diversity initiatives. He has opened doors, opened minds, and led an extraordinarily distinguished career, including being President of the National Bar Association.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 22, 2018
We are proud to present you with IAALS' 2017 Annual Report, showcasing our efforts to help create a legal system that works for everyone. The theme this year is “Action to Justice.” Throughout the report, you will see images that are straight out of the comics. But despite the whimsical tone, the real message is that we live in times that pose great challenges to our system of justice, and superheroes must answer the call to act.
March 21, 2018
Last year, IAALS and the National Center for State Courts released a new Roadmap for Implementation to guide state courts implementing civil justice reform efforts. IAALS and NCSC will ultimately work with one state from each region of the United States as it follows the Roadmap through implementation of civil justice reform. Idaho and Maine were previously announced as Roadmap states and we are excited to add Texas and Missouri to this list. I was fortunate to visit both states last month to support their reform efforts.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 16, 2018
The Advisory Committee of the Honoring Families Initiative here at IAALS met last month. The Committee, chaired by Bill Howe, a domestic relations practitioner from Oregon, is a group of multi-disciplinary, extremely experienced and skilled people—who care a great deal about families in the courts. They have been with IAALS since the onset of the HFI work, and they continue to be our secret weapon.
March 15, 2018
Some experts are predicting that a change in alimony rules under the new tax law passed late last year may increase the number of divorces this year. The new tax law changes the alimony deduction, which has been in place since 1942. Beginning in 2019, spouses who pay alimony won’t be permitted to take any deductions, and spouses receiving alimony won’t be required to report those payments as income.
March 8, 2018
In July 2016, IAALS published Foundations for Practice: The Whole Lawyer and the Character Quotient, which shared findings from a survey that asked more than 24,000 lawyers what new lawyers need as they enter the profession. In the survey, we also collected from respondents ten demographic and practice-specific characteristics. We thought we might observe interesting, informative, and actionable differences across these demographics and characteristics. However, as we conducted analysis of the survey data for our reports, it became clear that our expectation was misplaced.
March 5, 2018
FreeFrom, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, is releasing a self-help tool aimed at helping survivors of domestic abuse get the resources and information they need to pursue financial compensation. Many victims of domestic abuse never seek legal relief, simply because they don’t know what options they have or how to pursue them.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
March 2, 2018
Illinois takes judicial education seriously. In 2015, the state Supreme Court formed the Illinois Judicial College, and very recently I was honored to participate in its first full-week debut of courses. Over 400 judges participated and there were over 100 course offerings for them. At the initial plenary session, there was energy in the room—colleagues enjoying being together, eager to learn new things and share information.