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In his 1959 classic Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote that “man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is being asked.” These times ask much of us. The women and men of IAALS—and our stakeholders and friends—are answering in meaningful ways. This newsletter provides a snapshot of some of that work in action. Together, they sound IAALS’ enduring notes in our plastic times: imagining access to justice, broadly scaled; hearing the voices of people and organizations who experience the American justice system; seeking and understanding data; and convening disparate interests to resolve problems.
Sam Walker, Interim Executive Director September 2020
Utah Supreme Court Makes History with Vote to Establish Regulatory Sandbox: Last month, in a historic vote, the Utah Supreme Court voted unanimously to establish a regulatory sandbox for nontraditional legal services providers in order to address the state’s access to justice crisis. These rule changes will allow individuals and entities to explore creative ways to safely allow the practice of law and reduce constraints on how lawyers market and promote their services.
Expert Opinion: Trusting the Public’s Perception of Our Justice System: The public knows the reality of how the justice system functions today. It is we who are now catching on. The call has never been louder for court leaders and system stakeholders to accept and admit some hard truths. IAALS Expert Natalie Knowlton calls for looking inward and taking responsibility for those aspects of the system that are failing.
NCSC 2020 Trends in State Courts Highlights the Family Justice Initiative: In July, the National Center for State Courts released their 2020 Trends in State Courts, which includes discussion of the Family Justice Initiative and its Principles for Family Justice Reform. The principles emphasize problem solving and cooperation between parties—especially when children are involved.
Be sure to read all of the news from IAALS on our blog.
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August 28: "Arizona approves nonlawyer ownership, nonlawyer licensees in access-to-justice reforms" in ABA Journal
August 26: "IAALS Discusses Future of Legal Services" in Law Week Colorado August 25: "Maine, Utah, and Reforming Attorney Regulation" on Ethical Grounds August 14: "Utah Court OKs Pathbreaking Pilot on New Legal Service Models" in Bloomberg Law August 6: "How to navigate “parochial and self-interested concerns” in Legal Evolution August 6: "Emergency bar admission rule for law grads" on PrawfsBlawg August 3: "The Shapes and Letters of the Modern Lawyer" on Madisonian August 1: "Will the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally remake the legal industry?" in ABA Journal
IAALS looks forward to a fall with many events, all centered on our mission. We’re excited to announce that our annual Rebuilding Justice Award Celebration will be held virtually this October. Postponed since April, the event will honor this year’s awardees, Margaret Hagan and the late Chief Justice Mark Cady, for their leadership and innovation in the movement toward user-centric reforms in family courts—leading to better pathways for families nationwide. Stay tuned for more information soon.
IAALS continues to adapt to our new realities. Going virtual has brought hundreds of participants to our recent events, and we’re thrilled to bring even more supporters and friends—new and old—to our award celebration this fall. We hope you’ll join us!