IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, has announced that its executive director, Rebecca Love Kourlis, has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2012 John Marshall Award, presented by the American Bar Association Justice Center. Ms. Kourlis will formally accept the award in Chicago in August.
The ABA Justice Center established the John Marshall Award to recognize individuals who are dedicated to the improvement of the administration of justice. Recipients are chosen based on their work to promote justice system reform and public awareness about the justice system. Previous recipients include Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (AZ), Justice Anthony Kennedy (U. S. Supreme Court), Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (NY), Senator Howell Heflin (AL), and Governor Tom Ridge (PA).
Ms. Kourlis is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford University School of Law. She served as a trial court judge for seven years and was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1995 where she served there for 11 years. She opened IAALS in 2006.
“John Marshall was one of the first to recognize the critical role of the courts, an impartial judiciary, and the rule of law in our constitutional democracy,” Ms. Kourlis says. “IAALS is dedicated to the same ideals that John Marshall espoused. I am deeply honored to receive the John Marshall Award – and do so on behalf of IAALS, the staff, the board and the many partners who share our passion.”
Ms. Kourlis has received numerous honors, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Legal Reform Organization of the Year Award (2007) and the ABA Judicial Division Robert B. Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Judicial Administration (2009). She is a Fellow of the Colorado Bar and American Bar Foundations. In 2010, she and husband Tom were named Citizens of the West by the National Western Stock Show.