American Inns of Court (AIC) are designed to improve the skills,
professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar. An American Inn of
Court is an amalgam of judges, lawyers, and in some cases, law
professors and law students. Each Inn meets approximately once a
month both to "break bread" and to hold programs and discussions on
matters of ethics, skills and professionalism.
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. Members learn side-by-side with the most
experienced judges and attorneys in their community.
An American Inn of Court is not a fraternal order, a social club, a
course in continuing legal education, a lecture series, an
apprenticeship system, or an adjunct of a law school's program.
While an AIC partakes of some of each of these concepts, it is
quite different in aim, scope, and effect.
American Inns of Court actively involve more than 25,000 state,
federal and administrative law judges, attorneys, legal scholars
and law students. Membership is composed of the following
categories: Masters of the Bench- judges, experienced lawyers, and
law professors; Barristers - lawyers with some experience who do
not meet the minimum requirements for Masters; Associates-lawyers
who do not meet the minimum requirement for Barristers; and
Pupils-law students. The suggested number of active members in an
Inn is around 80.