University of Denver


Too many people cannot effectively access our legal system to protect their rights and resolve their disputes. But if we want to make legal services more accessible, we must re-envision how they are delivered. This project is about taking a bold step forward into a consumer-centered regulatory system—one that is competitive, broadly accessible, and better meets the needs of the people.
The access to justice problem in the United States extends far beyond those of low income. People of all socioeconomic backgrounds face problems every day with unclear paths to resolution, as do businesses of all sizes. This first-of-its-kind project will assess the needs of our diverse populations nationwide, allowing for meaningful progress on closing the justice gaps in our society—and our legal system—once and for all.
The legal profession lacks a clear understanding of the minimum competence needed to practice law. And we cannot even say that the bar exam, as it exists now, is the right way to test for minimum competence. Outcomes from this project will ultimately provide a richer, more diverse picture of the minimum competence needed to practice law.
The courts in the United States exist to uphold the rule of law. But they do not operate in a vacuum, separate from the people they serve. This project has dived deeper into the issue of low public trust and confidence in our courts, working closely with key partners and stakeholders, including—most importantly—members of the public themselves.
The discovery process in civil litigation often generates unwarranted delays and inhibits access to justice, for parties on both sides of the “v.” IAALS has created pattern discovery rules specific to particular types of cases—including pandemics, natural disasters, FLSA, and employment—which make the discovery process more efficient and more targeted.
Lawyers, judges, and clients have been consistent in their call for new lawyers who can hit the ground running. But what are the competencies and skills that new lawyers need to be ready? Foundations for Practice is a first-of-its-kind effort to answer that question.
In partnership with NCSC, we have supported the development of recommendations for transforming our state courts for the 21st Century and are now supporting their implementation nationwide.
The Family Justice Initiative involves assessing the landscape of and best practices in domestic relations cases, with the objective of improving the way courts handle them.
The family justice system was built on the assumption that litigants would be represented by lawyers. This project explores user-friendly, streamlined, and accessible solutions that help people through the divorce and separation process—even when they cannot afford or choose not to hire an attorney.
Much has been done over the past five years to address the cost and delay in the civil justice process, and much of that work has focused on discovery. However, there are equal challenges and opportunities for improvement in the area of motions practice.
What skills and qualities do clients value in the lawyers they hire? This project, which taps into years of client reviews of lawyers, aims to answer that important question.
IAALS is dedicated to ensuring that every family has access to an approach for separation or divorce that is best suited to their needs and that empowers them to work together for the benefit of their children.