November 20, 2017
Princeton Review released their 2018 law school rankings at the end of October—top 10 lists with categories like “Best Classroom Experience,” “Most Competitive Students,” and “Best Career Prospects.” Many of the rankings are based on student feedback; in fact, 10 of the 11 categories either feature or are based entirely on responses to a student survey (“Toughest to Get Into” is the only category based wholly on institutional data). The surveys asked students about professors’ teaching ability and accessibility, number of hours spent studying, diversity, sense of community, and opportunities for externships, internships, and clerkships, among many other topics.
November 17, 2017
In a society where only 26 percent of adults can name all three branches of the federal government and a third cannot even name one, Colorado's judicial branch has sought to improve its citizens’ civics knowledge through Our Courts Colorado. The nonpartisan program provides civics education presentations in both English and Spanish for adults in their communities across the state, many given by state and federal judges.
November 16, 2017
It is common knowledge that many lawyers and law students struggle with high stress as well as high rates of depression and substance abuse. Now, the American Bar Association’s National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being is suggesting that these characteristics interfere with the legal profession's dedication to serving clients and dependence on the public’s trust.
November 7, 2017
For young legal practitioners, integrating limited scope representation into law school curriculums is a giant step toward increasing awareness and mastery of modern legal practice. This was the position of the “Unbundling for the Next Generation” panel at the IAALS/ABA Better Access through Unbundling conference on the University of Denver campus last month. Professors Andrew Schepard, Danielle Hirsch and Luz Herrerra presented on the benefits of integrating limited scope representation into clinics and experiential classes, law school incubators, and bar events that target young lawyers, as well as educating court staff to promote referral panels.
October 31, 2017
The Civil Jury Project at NYU School of Law, whose Executive Director is Steve Susman, is organizing a Jury Improvement Lunch for the Colorado bench and bar this Thursday, November 2. The goal of the lunch is to honor jurors who have recently served by inviting them to attend a lunch with judges and lawyers in the community to share their experiences and to learn from them about what can be done to improve civil trials. These education programs, dubbed “Jury Improvement Lunches,” began in Texas and have been held in Houston, Dallas, and Corpus Christi. In addition to Denver, the project is now organizing similar lunches in Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, Kansas City, Seattle, Oklahoma City, and Cleveland.
Carolyn A. Tyler
October 27, 2017
This week, the North Carolina Senate created the new Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting to consider various options for how the state selects judges. The committee’s formation comes after the North Carolina legislature took several steps recently to shake up the state's judicial system. Back in March, the legislature voted to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 100, which requires North Carolina Superior Court and District Court judges to identify their party affiliation on ballots. Proponents of the bill say voters want to know everything they can about judicial candidates when they vote. Opponents, like the governor, argue the bill politicizes the courts.
Rebecca Love Kourlis
October 25, 2017
From her 5’3” frame, Sheila Hollis has cast a long shadow in the law, as a trailblazer, innovator, and international leader. She is Colorado grown and educated, and now has deep roots in our nation’s capital, where she brokers with the best of them. I had an initial “taste” of that at our very first dinner together in Washington, D.C., at a restaurant that she frequents often, where she knows the menu, the wine list, the staff, and many of the patrons. I felt like I was getting a peek at the in-crowd.
October 17, 2017
In a recent article, Gillian Hadfield, Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Southern California, commented on how the United States legal education system has in some ways become stale. She suggests that law schools aren't preparing graduates to accurately address the legal and regulatory needs found in our rapidly changing society.
October 12, 2017
Over the last three years, California has undertaken an effort to “research and analyze innovative proposals for the justice system of the future.” The work has culminated in a final report that was submitted to the Chief Justice on April 26, 2017. The report from the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System focuses on practical ways to more effectively adjudicate cases, achieve greater fiscal stability, and use technology to enhance the public’s access to the courts. The breadth of the report is tremendous, making sweeping recommendations in criminal law, civil law, family law, court administration, and technology.
October 11, 2017
Technology has radically altered how legal help is sought—and how it is delivered—yet there is still an overwhelming need for affordable and accessible legal services in the United States. This gulf can only be bridged when attorneys adopt new ways of approaching the practice of law and the delivery of legal services.
Carolyn A. Tyler
October 5, 2017
What do clients want from their attorneys? The answers to that question would seem to be key to understanding how to improve the quality and diversity of legal services. Identifying what clients value in their lawyers has been a challenge because clients are difficult to identify and survey. But, now we have a source of precisely the information we need. IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, is partnering with Avvo, an online legal services marketplace, on a new project: “Think Like a Client.” This first-of-its-kind effort was announced today from the 6th Annual Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Conference.
October 3, 2017
Arizona’s Supreme Court has approved numerous civil justice reforms “aimed at reducing the time and expense it takes to resolve civil cases in Arizona’s superior courts.” The reforms are based on the recommendations of Arizona’s Civil Justice Reform Committee, which was established by the Arizona Supreme Court in December 2015 to “develop recommendations, including rule amendments or pilot projects, to reduce the cost and time required to resolve civil cases in Arizona’s superior courts.”