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.
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.