Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis believes in the foundations of the American legal system and has dedicated her career, both in and out of the courts, to ensuring that the system provides justice for all. She served Colorado’s judiciary for nearly two decades, first as a trial court judge and then as a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.
In January 2006, she resigned from the Supreme Court to establish the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), where she served as Executive Director until October of 2019.
Her work at the helm of IAALS was resolute in its focus on continuous improvement of the American legal system, and a logical off-shoot of her accomplishments on the bench where she spearheaded significant reforms in the judicial system. The IAALS model of change includes a unique blend of empirical research translated into practical solutions through facilitated collaboration among diverse stakeholders.
Justice Kourlis’ legal expertise is rich and diverse. She began her career with the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, spent time at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and started a small practice in rural northwest Colorado where she worked in natural resources, water, public lands, oil and gas, and mineral law.
In 1987, she was appointed as a trial court judge with a general jurisdiction docket. She served as Water Judge and later as Chief Judge of the district. In 1994, she returned to Denver and worked as an arbitrator and mediator for the Judicial Arbiter Group. She was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1995.
In the spring of 2021, she intends to open an alternative dispute resolution practice with two other colleagues, focusing on arbitration and mediation of commercial and public policy disputes.