The American Law Institute (ALI), founded in 1923, is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The Institute (made up of 4,000 lawyers, judges, and law professors of the highest qualifications) drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, model statutes, and principles of law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education. ALI has long been influential internationally and, in recent years, more of its work has become international in scope.
By participating in the Institute's work, its distinguished members have the opportunity to influence the development of the law in both existing and emerging areas, to work with other eminent lawyers, judges, and academics, to give back to a profession to which they are deeply dedicated, and to contribute to the public good.
In 1947, the American Bar Association (ABA) asked the American Law Institute to undertake the first national program of post-admission legal education. The need to refresh returning WWII lawyer-veterans on the law underscored the importance of continuing education to all lawyers. ALI accepted the challenge, and the two organizations formed a committee denominated as American Law Institute-American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) to begin the work.
The mission of this new, national continuing legal education (CLE) venture was to educate the bar in general, to work with state and local bar groups to meet lawyers' CLE needs, and to assist in establishing organizations that would develop their own CLE programs.
In the early years, ALI-ABA produced hundreds of live programs, and by 1958 brought CLE to communities in 44 states. ALI-ABA's publications also flourished during this time and included the creation of handbooks spanning a range of subject areas. Ultimately, ALI-ABA became renowned for its extensive programming in practice areas including business/corporate, employee benefits, employment, environmental, estate planning, and real estate/land use law, as well as in ethics, skills and law practice.
Over the years, ALI-ABA embraced new technologies and pioneered the delivery of CLE via satellite TV to a network of sites throughout the country hosted by state and local bar associations, law schools, and law firms. More recently, ALI-ABA added MP3 downloads to its delivery media that included live webcasts, online courses, on-demand electronic publications, DVDs, and telephone seminars. In addition to its national curriculum, ALI-ABA offered consulting, training, and accreditation assistance to law firms, corporate law departments, and government agencies for their in-house professional development programs. In 2010, ALI-ABA introduced the Knowledge Portal, a subscription-based, online legal content, research, and education resource designed to help attorneys balance their professional careers and become more efficient in their everyday practice.
On April 30, 2012, by mutual agreement, the American Bar Association and the American Law Institute chose to move forward separately in their CLE efforts, with the abundant intellectual content and cutting-edge technology of ALI-ABA being absorbed into the CLE group of ALI. Today, the thousands of prominent lawyers, judges, and legal academics in the United States and abroad who taught and wrote for ALI-ABA continue to do so for ALI CLE.
The American Law Institute continuing legal education group remains committed to the work of promoting continuing professional education for lawyers throughout the United States and to creating standards to ensure quality and relevance in CLE programs. As ALI-ABA did for nearly 65 years, ALI CLE continues to evolve to meet the needs of the legal profession, furthering a tradition of unparalleled service to lawyers.