University of Denver

Our Work & Impact

In 2006, the founders of IAALS recognized a problem: the American civil justice system was in crisis and no existing group was equipped to fix it. They established IAALS to do the work others could not, grounded in key principles:

Non-Partisan & Independent
Input from All Sides & Stakeholders
Measurable Results & Continuous Improvement

Our work has created a seismic shift in our civil justice system and our legal profession. Here’s how IAALS is rebuilding a trusted and trustworthy legal system.

Civil Justice Reform

When we started, there was no consensus or even acknowledgment about the scope and sources of problems in America’s civil justice system. So, we:

Built Support for Reform among Attorneys, Judges & Courts
Brought Forward New State and Federal Civil Procedure Rules
Implemented Rule Changes & Pilot Projects Nationwide

Today, IAALS is a driving force for change in both federal and state courts. We are increasing access to justice and helping ensure just, speedy, and affordable outcomes for all.

Judicial Excellence

When we started, the judicial branch was mired in public mistrust. The judiciary needed defending but also needed improved accountability. So, we:

Refined Case Management Tools for Judges
Increased States that Review Judge Performance
Empowered Voters with Information on Judicial Elections

Today, IAALS strengthens judicial independence, develops tools and recommendations to ensure a quality bench, and champions civic engagement.

Legal Education & Profession

When we started, many new lawyers were not being hired and were not prepared to represent the needs of clients. So, we:

Spearheaded National Research into the Experience Gap
Identified Skills and Characteristics Lawyers Need
United Schools and Employers to Better Prepare New Lawyers for Practice

Today, IAALS is closing the gap between legal education and legal employment. Law schools are building better learning outcomes and legal employers recognize the core qualities they need in new hires.

Family Justice Reform

When we started, the legal process was too complex and legal advice was too expensive for many people. Upwards of 80% of family cases involve at least one party without an attorney. So, we:

Proved There is a Better Way to Divorce
Put a Spotlight on Challenges in Family Justice Access
Amplified the Voices of Self-Represented Litigants

Today, IAALS is helping to rebuild the court experience around the needs of individuals. We work with the courts to implement best practices for litigants, court staff, legal service providers, and communities, with a focus on technology solutions, a la carte legal services, and better resources.

Tomorrow's Impact

IAALS is at work on multiple fronts to anticipate challenges in our legal system and seize the opportunities ahead. We are working to:

  • Modernize the civil justice system to serve the needs of the 21st century, making access and navigation easier so everyone can achieve fair and efficient outcomes.
  • Reexamine the regulatory constraints on the legal profession to elevate those that best serve clients and to encourage ranges of professional service.
  • Develop more robust tools for selecting and evaluating judges that honor both accountability and impartiality.
  • Create recommendations and procedures to better guide the process when judges are recused from cases or when they face disciplinary action.
  • Ensure law students get better value for their tuition dollars and legal employers can hire more qualified candidates, and ultimately lawyers that better serve clients.
  • Investigate the decline in public trust and confidence in the courts and build broad-based solutions to address it.