April 27, 2021
Civil jury trials have been few since the pandemic began. Cases stalled and slowed, phone conferences and Zoom replaced in-person hearings, and deadlines were extended. How did courts handle the tension between civil rules and procedure on the one hand, and the fundamental right to a jury trial on the other? And, what will stick?
March 30, 2021
Since 2018, the Colorado Bar Association Federal Pro Se Clinic has been helping people navigate the overwhelming process of filing and pursuing a lawsuit in federal court without a lawyer. Use of the clinic has increased substantially in the time it has been in operation, and all signs point to increasing demand for pro se assistance.
February 24, 2021
The pandemic’s disruption to the status quo brought with it a critical view of the bar exam, how it is administered, and whether it actually tests what it purports to. The status quo—and tinkering around its edges—is not good enough. It is time we had the courage and will to look beyond the assumptions that underpin the current bar exam and towards outcomes and purpose for a new era.
February 17, 2021
Throughout the past ten months, our justice system has made giant strides in its use of technology, including video- and tele-conferencing, e-filing, remote jury trials, and online dispute resolution. The question now faced by many courts is: are these digital processes working like they’re supposed to?
February 8, 2021
The pandemic has affected our civil justice system in many ways, yet perhaps the most important role access to justice entities can play in the near future is to advocate for the retention of remote access systems for court appearances as well as for the delivery of legal and self-help services.
January 4, 2021
2020 revealed that most of us are swimming naked when it comes to our ability to meaningfully access our justice system. 2020 certainly exacerbated issues, but its true effect and power was revealing our society’s not-so-secret dirty secrets: systemic racism, growing income inequality, the failing U.S. healthcare system, and a justice system that only serves a small minority of Americans.
December 10, 2020
In the past few months, there have been encouraging updates in several states aimed at more effectively addressing the legal needs of disaster survivors. Two states—Louisiana and Texas—implemented various tools to help streamline litigation arising from these disasters.
December 7, 2020
On the whole, 2020 was a quiet time for state judicial elections, at least in comparison to recent years. Fewer sitting judges were directly targeted for removal, and most of the efforts to oust judges failed at the ballot box. But even quiet years have standout moments, and the recent election cycle brought several noteworthy developments.
November 19, 2020
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned to operate almost wholly online—something that many thought was impossible. However, while this move has brought with it a number of positive effects, it has also exposed a digital divide that must be addressed in order for there to be equity in our justice system.
November 11, 2020
It’s time that the delivery of legal services reflected the reality of innovation and progress we see in every other field—medical, financial, engineering, and everything in between—giving everyone greater access to legal services.
October 29, 2020
In a groundbreaking report, IAALS, in partnership with Professor Deborah Merritt at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, has defined the minimum competence that new lawyers need to be qualified to practice law—and provides recommendations for how legal licensing processes like the bar exam must change to be more fair to bar applicants and to better protect the public.
October 28, 2020
Courts currently face a backlog of civil cases that have been placed on hold since mid-March, as well as a predicted wave of case filings stemming from the pandemic. Courts need a framework to adapt to their new reality—and they already have that framework and tools to make meaningful and mandatory changes.