Create an American Inn of Court

Step 1. Form an Organizing Committee

  • Organizing Committee are comprised of at least one judge and two to five leading members of the bar.
  • Experience has proven that a respected federal or state judge in your legal community with strong leadership qualities is very beneficial as an initiator and member of the Organizing Committee.
  • Consider having such a judge serve as the first president or counselor of the Inn.

Step 2. Organizing Committees

  • Determine if there is sufficient interest within the local legal community to proceed with creating a new Inn
  • Do an informal survey of the legal community
  • Consult with other Inns already up and running in the area
  • Consult with a Chapter Relations Director to review any questions and to obtain development resources
  • Consider whether or not the Inn will specialize in a certain area of the law
  • Determine if the Inn will be affiliated with a law school, bar association or similar organization

Benefits of affiliation

Organizing Expenses: These expenses may be financed by the members of the organizing committee, law school or bar association, but once organized, an Inn is self-sustaining.

Facilities and/or Staff: A law school or bar association may also provide a room (e.g., a moot courtroom) for some or all meetings. A person on the staff of a law school or bar association may perform administrative duties for the Inn. The law school, bar association, or other entity may also maintain and house the records of the Inn when such an affiliation exists. This function has been made much less burdensome with new automation tools developed by the Foundation.

Pupils: When there is an affiliation with a law school, the law school generally aids in the election of students as Pupil members of the Inn. If there is no law school in the immediate vicinity, the Inn may restrict its membership to judges and lawyers and designate newly licensed lawyers as Associate members. Many Inns have both Associates and Pupils.

Step 3. Apply for a Charter

Complete and submit an application for charter to the Foundation.

Each local Inn is required to be chartered through the American Inns of Court Foundation in order to use the trademarked name. When the application for charter is approved, the Foundation will provide helpful materials and publications that describe how to continue the organizational process.

A Chapter Relations Director will work closely with you to assist in the organization and development of the local Inn.

Step 4. Plan for the Inaugural Meeting of the Masters

After the application for charter has been approved:

  • Determine a time and place for your first Meeting of the Masters
  • Compile a list of potential Masters who will be invited to participate in this new Inn.
  • Send written or e-mailed invitations to potential Masters. Informational brochures, supplied upon request from the Foundation, may be included with the invitation.