History of the American Inns of Court

The American Inns of Court was inspired by the English Inns of Court.  The first American Inn of Court was founded in 1980, as a pilot program, in the Provo/Salt Lake City area of Utah and included law students from Brigham Young University.  Within the next three years, additional American Inns formed in Utah, Mississippi, Hawaii, New York, and Washington, D. C.

In 1983, Chief Justice Warren Burger created a committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States to explore whether the American Inn concept was of value to the administration of justice and, if so, whether there should be a national organization to promote, establish and assist American Inns, and promote the goals of legal excellence, civility, professionalism and ethics on a national level.  The committee reported to the Judicial Conference affirmatively on the two questions and proposed the creation of the American Inns of Court Foundation.  The Judicial Conference approved the reports and, thus, endorsed the formation of a national structure.  In 1985, the American Inns of Court Foundation was formally organized.

Looking for a new way to help lawyers and judges rise to higher levels of excellence, professionalism, and ethical awareness, the American Inns of Court adopted the traditional English model of legal apprenticeship and modified it to fit the particular needs of the American legal system.  American Inns of Court help lawyers to become more effective advocates and counselors with a keener ethical awareness. 

American Inns of Court actively involve more than, 25,000 state, federal and administrative law judges, attorneys, legal scholars and law students.