This report examines why many states have begun to create a new tier of legal service providers who are not lawyers, and describes the similarities and differences between each program. The report is designed to be used as a resource for states interested in creating their own program to understand not only what other states’ programs consist of, but also the reasoning behind many of their decisions.
This report details the key discussion points from the Unbundled Legal Services in the New Normal conference, focusing on how the pandemic helped normalize digitization and the use of technology for legal service providers generally—and how to further advance unbundled legal services nationwide.
In 2020, the Denver Law Firm Coalition for Racial Equity and IAALS brought together local leaders to identify and explore sustainable and long-term DEI solutions. This report details best practices and recommendations to recruit, retain, and advance racially diverse attorneys.
This report provides nationwide data on the justice needs that people in the United States experience every day and a deeper understanding of how people in the United States resolve those justice needs, as well as what is working and what isn’t, to inform and help target reform efforts.
This guide is for employers who want to improve their hiring practices—to improve quality, retention, and diversity—based on what IAALS has learned from the Foundations for Practice project. The guide is a set of principles and recommendations geared toward hiring candidates suited to excel at an organization— based on that organization’s practice, vision, goals, and needs—that can be adapted to the specific objectives and goals of different employers.
This instructional design guide is for educators who are interested in using what IAALS has learned from the Foundations for Practice project as a basis for learning outcomes and standards-based assessments. The guide uses a step-by-step approach to implement a Foundations-based instructional model in the university law classroom.
These Initial Discovery Protocols provide a new pretrial procedure that aims to reduce conflict and cost and to help businesses and insurers reach quick resolution during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it be in settlement, motions practice, or trial. They are designed to be implemented by trial judges, lawyers, and litigants in state and federal courts.
Through detailed case studies, this report showcases the innovation occurring in courts, self-help centers, legal aid centers, and law/public libraries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons learned from these organizations can be helpful to others that are still updating their services or exploring adding virtual services.
The legal profession has never had a clear, explicit understanding of the minimum competence needed to practice law and how it should be tested on the bar exam (or through other licensing approaches). In this report, we have defined minimum competence and have new recommendations for how the legal licensing process—including the bar exam—must change to better serve the public.
IAALS undertook this study to explore the critical issue of public trust and confidence in the civil legal system through a qualitative lens. The study’s long-form, one-on-one interviews explored several facets: the value of courts, trust in judges, ideal judicial behavior, available information on the legal system, and popular media depictions of the system, among others.
This report provides a compilation of case studies from four states—Idaho, Maine, Missouri, and Texas—that used our roadmap to help implement broad civil justice reform recommendations. In it we share lessons learned from each state's experiences, which can provide other states with tangible experiences on which to draw when initiating their own efforts.
Americans are drowning in debt, and many find themselves as defendants in consumer debt collection cases filed in state courts. This white paper on consumer debt collection was developed to provide guidance to state court policymakers on managing different types of debt collection cases, given the growing caseload and recognition of existing gaps in effective case management in our courts.
This report details findings from our interactive Court Compass design sprint workshops, where we led self-represented litigants and court stakeholders in identifying problems people face in navigating the legal process, brainstorming potential solutions to those problems, and creating prototypes for those solutions.
Family courts operate within a larger court structure that generally reflects the traditional, adversarial approach, which can exacerbate tensions between partners and leave children caught in the crossfire of parental acrimony. This guide is designed to assist family courts in building a menu of robust alternative dispute resolution processes—such as mediation and other methods—that are responsive to the needs of cases and parties.
To help trial judges better manage cases involving self-represented litigants, this guide summarizes effective practices for resolving cases with one or more self-represented litigants in the courtroom and provides specific examples of their application in the family law context.