The comment below, based on spoken remarks, was submitted by IAALS to the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors on November 30, 2021, in support of the Proposed Oregon Legal Paraprofessional Licensing Program.Hello, my name is Natalie Knowlton. I am the Director of Special Projects at IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University
Continue Reading IAALS' Comment In Support of the Proposed Oregon Legal Paraprofessional Licensing Program

The comment below was submitted by IAALS to the Michigan Supreme Court and the Lessons Learned Committee in response to the state’s preliminary report, Michigan Trial Courts: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic of 2020-21, Preliminary Findings, Best Practices, and Recommendations. The report highlights the common experiences that shaped the Michigan justice system throughout the pandemic.We write on behalf of
Continue Reading IAALS’ Comment to the Michigan Supreme Court on Virtual Proceedings and Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

Last week was the twelfth annual National Celebration of Pro Bono, bringing attention to the vast need for affordable (and no-cost) legal services and recognizing the attorneys who step up to provide them. As Americans continue grappling with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, including employment, debt-collection, and housing issues, access to legal services is more critical than ever, and
Continue Reading To Close the Justice Gap, We Must Look Beyond Lawyers

Throughout the past 18 months, the pandemic has been a shared experience across our state, our country, and our world, yet everyone has experienced it uniquely. The same is true of our courts, which have taken different paths to the same goal: continuing access to justice and continuity of services—be it virtually or in person. The challenges they faced brought
Continue Reading The Paths of the Pandemic: Courts Must Continue to Innovate and Learn from Rapid Changes

The Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush issued an Order in September 2019 creating the Family Law Taskforce (FLT), which was directed to: 1) analyze the research on court reform; 2) assess the impact of innovations in other states; 3) identify innovative strategies to significantly improve court processes; and 4) provide a written report of findings and recommendations. In an
Continue Reading Indiana Takes Steps to Improve Family Justice, Adopts 13 Principles for Reform

Throughout 2020, we saw just about every aspect of the legal profession move from in-person to virtual services. From law schools and the bar exam to law firms and even courts, no institution was exempt. There have been a number of horror stories, including bar exam software shutting down mid-exam and a domestic abuser hiding just off screen to intimidate
Continue Reading The Future of the Legal Profession: In Person or Virtual?

One of us is a law student. The other is a law professor. We’re both advocates for reforming legal education, particularly through expanded access to experiential learning opportunities. We’re critical of the 150-year-old model of legal education that relies on passive learning and summative assessment. And we’re in decent company. See, for example, Jerome Frank in 1933, the New
Continue Reading A Conversation about Project-Based Learning

Who can forget that iconic moment on The Oprah Winfrey Show when everyone in the audience received a car? Oprah stood on stage, yelling and pointing: “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everyone gets a car!” For those following regulatory reform efforts around the country, the regulatory sandbox feels a bit like that. Every day,
Continue Reading What’s in a Name: The Reality Behind the Rhetoric of Regulatory Sandboxes

Editor’s Note: Anna Carpenter, Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, is the inaugural recipient of the Alli Gerkman Legal Visionary Award, which recognizes innovators who have made significant impacts early in their legal careers toward making our legal system work better for everyone. The nomination window for the
Continue Reading A Conversation with Anna Carpenter, Inaugural Alli Gerkman Legal Visionary Award Recipient

September is National Preparedness Month, and with natural disasters increasing in severity—and with COVID-19 still wreaking havoc worldwide—it is important for courts to consider ways to mitigate the negative effects.Disasters have consequences that extend far beyond immediate destruction. As individuals and businesses deal with property damage from natural disasters or face months of lost profits due to a public
Continue Reading IAALS' Discovery Protocols Provide Clarity to Courts in Times of Emergency

Constitution Day, September 17, commemorates that date in 1787 when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. Clearly, this date and this holiday do not attract nearly as much attention as July 4, the holiday marking the signing of the other foundational document of the United States, the Declaration of Independence. That is somewhat lamentable,
Continue Reading Constitution Day 2021: An Inspiring and Incomplete Civil Justice System

Last August, Utah made history as the first state to establish a regulatory sandbox, providing a space for lawyers and other professionals to deliver nontraditional legal services under the supervision of the state supreme court. A year later, numerous businesses and collaborations are up and running, providing a wide range of much-needed legal services. None of this would have been
Continue Reading Data from Utah’s Sandbox Shows Extraordinary Promise, Refutes Fears of Harm

On August 24, IAALS co-hosted the second session of the Redesigning Legal Speaker Series, bringing together an audience of 145 people to learn about and discuss how lawyers and other legal professionals can help to solve access-to-justice problems using new advances in technology—while building sustainable practices at the same time. “Legal Tech—Using Technology to Build Sustainable Practices & Expand
Continue Reading IAALS Panel Explores the Opportunities and Challenges of Legal Technology

It’s no secret that the United States is deeply embroiled in a justice crisis. According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the U.S. ranks 30th out of the world’s 37 high-income countries on the civil justice factor and 22nd on the criminal justice factor. Numerous studies have shone light on aspects of the crisis—some focusing on
Continue Reading US Justice Needs Data Reveals No Americans Unaffected by Justice Crisis

In the fall of 2019, IAALS and HiiL joined forces and launched a nationwide study to assess the justice needs of individuals in the United States. Today we have released a comprehensive report summarizing the results of this study, with the goal of providing data on the problems that people experience and the ways they seek to resolve them. Understanding
Continue Reading The US Justice Needs Study: A Watershed Moment for Achieving Equal Access to Justice

IAALS and HiiL have completed the first nationwide survey of its size to measure how Americans across a broad range of socio-demographic groups experience and resolve their legal problems. The full US Justice Needs report with the survey results will be released on September 1, with two live webinars presenting the data, reporting on the outcomes, and suggesting solutions.
Continue Reading New Study Reveals the Full Extent of the Access to Justice Crisis in America