July 26, 2018
We are pleased to announce the next "phase" of IAALS, in recognition that continuous improvement is not only vital for our legal system—it is vital within IAALS. Over the last year, we have been working to reshape and restructure IAALS to allow us to be as nimble, visible, and impactful as possible. To that end, we have bolstered our leadership, changed our organization, and launched our new website.
July 23, 2018
The IAALS Court Compass project is exploring streamlined and simplified solutions that help people through the divorce and separation process. IAALS is partnering with the North Carolina Judicial Branch and the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission to bring a design sprint workshop to Raleigh on August 11, 2018.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
July 20, 2018
Public trust and confidence in our judiciary, and our judges, is vital. Yet, over the last several decades, that trust has been eroded. For people to trust judges again, we must ensure a series of pillars are in place: improved ways of selecting judges; improved ways of evaluating judges’ performance; and improved systems for disciplining judges who abuse their power—which is the subject of a new IAALS report.
July 18, 2018
The issue of how to provide litigants with equal access to legal services, regardless of the litigant’s financial status, has plagued the legal community for some time now. One solution that is gaining popularity is unbundled legal services, where lawyers work on and charge clients for only those tasks that they agree to in advance.
July 17, 2018
We have never been busier at IAALS, with projects and convenings ramping up across all of our focus areas. To help facilitate this work and expand our impact nationwide, we are pleased to welcome three new staff members to our ranks. Jonna Perlinger joined IAALS in March as a legal assistant, and Michael Houlberg and Jason Zolle joined IAALS in June as managers.
July 11, 2018
For litigants without the help of an attorney, the American civil justice system can be difficult to understand—let alone navigate. In a recent piece for the ABA Journal, Chancellor Professor of Law Frederic I. Lederer proposed several technological advancements that can help improve access to legal resources and litigant understanding of the process.
July 10, 2018
Alternative dispute resolution processes, especially in the area of family law, are finally starting to become more common—yet still not common enough. IAALS piloted the Center for Out-of-Court Divorce (COCD) in Denver, and other programs, like the Hampshire Family Resolutions Specialty Court in Massachusetts, are also taking shape across the country.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
July 5, 2018
Bill came to IAALS as a representative of the American Association for Justice. I think initially he was a bit skeptical about our work and our mission. Over time, Bill has become a friend and a trusted colleague. He is entrepreneurial, visionary, and practical. We thank Bill for his artful purpose and for his collegiality.
June 29, 2018
As part of our three-year project to support the modernization and transformation of civil litigation in our state courts, IAALS has helped facilitate a series of regional strategic planning summits to help states develop an action plan for reform or other activities in their respective jurisdictions.
June 28, 2018
A recent study revealed that a high percentage of women still leave major financial and investment decisions to their spouse. This trend is becoming a problem for widowed and divorced women, 59 percent of whom wish they had taken a bigger role in financial planning when they were in a couple. Because the divorce rate has doubled for those over 50 in the last few decades, and because women have longer life expectancies than men, the lack of financial planning awareness can hurt older women more as they separate from their spouses.
June 25, 2018
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) recently published a paper that looks at costs awards to self-represented litigants (SRLs) in Canadian courts. The paper notes the leading Canadian cases in which SRLs have been ordered costs awards and analyzes the development of these principles in family law matters. Generally, the report concludes that Canadian courts have broadened SRLs’ ability to obtain costs.
June 20, 2018
Law school clinics are often said to serve two goals. They are a place where law students can develop and practice their legal skills in a real setting, with the safety net of faculty supervision. They also aim to serve low and modest means clients whose legal needs might otherwise go unmet. And, according to a recent study, clinics are achieving these goals.