What is an American Inn of Court?
The American Inns of Court is an association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals from all levels and backgrounds who share a passion for professional excellence. Through regular meetings, members are able to build and strengthen professional relationships; discuss fundamental concerns about professionalism and pressing legal issues of the day; share experiences and advice; exhort the utmost passion and dedication for the law; provide mentoring opportunities; and advance the highest levels of integrity, ethics, and civility. Our Inns have gained a national and international reputation as an organization that bridges the gap between formal law school education and legal practice by offering career-long continuing education in the Common Law tradition.
This uniquely non-partisan association encourages meaningful mentoring relationships. We are one of the very few legal organizations that involve the whole spectrum of the profession: from law students to supreme court justices; every level of federal and state judges, small firms to large firms; legal educators to law students. All have the opportunity to learn and grow without limit.
Membership is divided into "pupillage teams," with each team consisting of a few members from each membership category depending on the members' level of experience. Each pupillage team conducts one program for the Inn each year. Pupillage team members gather informally outside of monthly meetings in groups of two or more. This allows the less-experienced attorneys to become more effective advocates and counselors by learning from the more-experienced attorneys and judges.
In this collegial environment, outside the courtroom and pressure of daily practice, members discuss legal practice, principles, and methods. Academicians, specialized practitioners, and complementing generalists provide a mix of skill, theory, experience, and passion. This fluid, side-by-side approach allows seasoned judges and attorneys to help shape students and newer lawyers with practical guidance in serving the law and seeking justice.