University of Denver

Publications

Annual Report

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.
Not all self-help materials are created equal. This guide is intended to help courts increase the efficacy of existing self-help materials and assist in the development of new materials that empower parties with information and an understanding of what to do with that information.
Understanding what clients want and expect from their lawyers is imperative for the provision of high-quality legal services, as well as for lawyers’ success in the legal profession. This report represents a first step for the profession in developing a comprehensive, evidence-based understanding of what clients value.
IAALS developed an interdisciplinary out-of-court model to provide a comprehensive set of legal and therapeutic services to separating and divorcing families. The model provided families the opportunity to complete the divorce process without ever having to go to court. This report presents insights into the model as well as data from a robust evaluation on how the Center for Out-of-Court Divorce operated.
This publication is a supplemental guide to the Family Justice Initiative's Principles for Family Justice Reform and sets forth best practices to triaging domestic relations cases that match parties and cases to resources and services.