Alli Gerkman serves as Director of Communications for IAALS. She joined the organization in June 2011 as Online Content Manager. Gerkman came to IAALS having spent five years in continuing legal education and, while at the Colorado Bar Association CLE, she developed an online legal resource that was the recipient of the Association of Continuing Legal Education's 2011 Award of Professional Excellence for use of technology in education. She has written and presented nationally to continuing legal education providers on legal content management, technology, and online communications.
Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers is pleased to announce Law Jobs: By the Numbers™, an interactive online tool that gives prospective law students the most transparent and complete law school employment rate information available. Law Jobs empowers prospective students to build, analyze, and compare rates among law schools based on 2011 and 2012 data released by the American Bar Association, all with just a few clicks of a mouse. Users can “choose their own” formulas to tailor employment rates and prioritize the jobs that are valuable to them.
If there’s one thing the people in the room at the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education can agree on today, it’s that something has to give. But just what has to give? That still seems to be up for debate. In the opening session, opinions ranged nearly as wide as the topics, which included the deregulation of the profession, the deregulation of law schools, online education, US News, faculty scholarship, student expectations, consumer expectations, access to justice, and curriculum.
The ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education is meeting today in Indianapolis at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. The meeting is available via live webcast here. Today the group will hear three presentations: the Current Legal Education Challenge; Licensing, Finance, and Admissions; and Delivery, Innovation, and Barriers.
In September 2012, 21 law schools sent representatives to Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers’ first conference, which sought collaboration among schools to identify best practices for forming professional identity, encouraged schools to share examples of programs and curricula that support professional development, and fostered new ideas and approaches that representatives could take back to their schools. Out of this meeting comes the Report on the 2012 Conference.
The American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of Legal Education has been collecting comments from individuals and organizations since late last year. Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers submitted a comment focused on aligning legal education with the needs of an evolving profession, and made six recommendations.
Inspired by the spirit of a holiday devoted to love, the New York Times’ Room for Debate editorial board hosted a lively discussion that asks: “Should a divorce be more difficult to obtain? Or is the process arduous enough already?” Beverly Willett, a writer, lawyer, and co-chair of the Coalition for Divorce objects to the “me-centered approach” that she claims no-fault divorce laws have fostered. She is countered by Vicki Larson, a journalist who writes about marriage and divorce.
Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Advisory Committee member Paul Lippe is speaking to the “Deans Workshop for ABA Approved Schools” on February 15. In a post at The New Normal, he asked “How would you shape the law school experience for the next generation?” He has 44 responses and counting.
Once again, law schools have found themselves the subject of a New York Times front-page article about the sharp decline in law school applications. According to the article, law schools are responding by cutting faculty, taking a closer look at affordability, and adding clinics and in-the-field training. But perhaps more interesting is the story the article doesn’t tell—the story of law schools across the country that are already in front of this wave by offering students a better education.
Last fall, New York University School of Law made news for reorganizing its third-year offerings to better meet the needs of today’s law students. Today, we welcome NYU to the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium of law schools demonstrating significant institutional commitment to legal education reform along the lines proposed in the 2007 Carnegie Report, Educating Lawyers.
IAALS is privileged to benefit from the expertise of a diverse board of advisors that includes judges, practitioners, and others committed to our mission: the continuous improvement of the civil justice system. At the close of 2012, we said farewell to two board members: Justice Patricio Serna and Sue Dosal. And, on January 1, 2013, we welcomed three new board members: Judge Lee Rosenthal, Alan Carlson, and Sheila Slocum Hollis.
It’s hard to believe it’s been less than three months since we officially launched IAALS Online. We hope you’ve been enjoying it as much as we have. We’ll be taking a short break for the holidays—IAALS and the University of Denver are closed from December 25 through January 1—but we look forward to logging on January 2.
Recognizing that there is widespread concern that the civil justice system is too complex, costs too much, and takes too long, a new report provides recommendations for designing short, summary, and expedited (“SSE”) programs and calls for implementation of such programs on a national scale. The report, A Return to Trials: Implementing Effective Short, Summary, and Expedited Civil Action Programs, is co-authored by IAALS, ABOTA, and the NCSC.
This November, in addition to executive and legislative candidates, Colorado voters will be deciding whether or not to retain Colorado judges. Under Colorado’s system for selecting and retaining judges, all judges who will appear on the ballot must undergo a performance evaluation, the results of which are provided to the public as a tool for casting an informed retention vote. A website—www.knowyourjudge.com—is helping voters locate this information for the judges who will appear on their ballot.
This fall, judges are running in contestable elections in 32 states and standing in yes/no retention elections in 17 states. Judicial elections are typically low-information contests, where voters may cast their ballots based on party affiliation, name recognition, or ballot position rather than on qualifications and experience.
But in a handful of states, voters will have the benefit of broad-based and objective evaluations of incumbent judges’ performance on the bench and, in one state, of the judicial potential of their challengers.
IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, announces the release of Another Voice: Financial Experts on Reducing Client Costs in Civil Litigation, a new report prepared in collaboration with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that evaluates the cost and delays of litigation from… Continue Reading
According to financial disclosure forms, five of the seven justices serving on the supreme court in 2011 accepted travel or hospitality that was often provided by attorney associations whose members might appear before the court. Some legal scholars question the propriety of such arrangements. While the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct encourages… Continue Reading
The Akron Bar Association formed a judicial campaign conduct committee as part of an effort to improve the tone and conduct of local judicial campaigns. The committee will ask candidates to sign a clean-campaign pledge and will review complaints about improper campaign behavior. The committee consists of five Democrats, five Republicans, and an independent and… Continue Reading
While the state bar association supports Proposition 115, which goes before voters in November, other members of the legal community oppose its passage. Among other changes, the measure would increase the number of nominees from which the governor makes judicial appointments and give the governor greater control over the membership of the commission that makes… Continue Reading
The three justices standing for retention in November embarked on a tour of news organizations around the state in an effort to better inform voters about the merit selection and retention process for appellate judges. The justices have raised nearly $975,000 to support their retention.
An incumbent justice seeking reelection denied violating canons of judicial ethics in response to a charge by his opponent that he accepted a campaign contribution from a party whose case he heard. Republican Justice Robert Cupp said that he does not monitor who his contributors are and his campaign committee does not monitor his docket…. Continue Reading
The Democratic candidate for chief justice was removed as his party’s nominee for reportedly making “disparaging remarks about homosexuals, his Republican opponent and party leaders.” Following a hearing, a five-member party committee voted unanimously to take this step and reopened the qualifying period for candidates. The only candidate to express interest in the nomination was… Continue Reading
Although the senate judiciary committee voted not to recommend her confirmation to the full senate, the senate confirmed Su J. Chon’s appointment as a district court judge by a 17-10 margin. Chon’s opponents expressed concern that she did not the necessary experience to be a trial judge. Only five of the state’s 71 district court… Continue Reading
IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, is pleased to welcome Karen J. Mathis, past president of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), as its Associate Executive Director, effective August 22, 2012. In the new role, Mathis will oversee IAALS’ operations, including administration, fund development, finance, human… Continue Reading
New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Patricio M. Serna will retire August 31, 2012. He has served on the Court since 1996 and was elected by his colleagues to serve a two-year term as Chief Justice, from 2001 through 2002. Justice Serna has served on IAALS’ Board of Advisors since our beginning in 2006.