Fostering Excellence in Professionalism, Ethics, Civility, and Legal Skills

The William H. Stafford American Inn of Court

Welcome to the William H. Stafford American Inn of Court


The mission of the American Inns of Court is to "foster excellence in
professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills for judges, lawyers,
academicians, and students of law in order to perfect the quality,
availability, and efficiency of justice in the United States." We are part of a
national movement, started in the early 1980s, to "reclaim a noble profession."
Inspired by the British Inn tradition of life-long professional mentoring, the
American Inns of Court provide an experience that transcends practice areas and job titles.

Our chapter, formed in 1989, is a group of 100 lawyers, judges, and law
students dedicated to the mission of fostering professionalism and civility in
the justice system. It's named after the Honorable William H. Stafford, Senior
United States District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, a founding
member and the first president of our Inn. Membership is based on peer
nomination. Lawyers are assigned a role within the Inn based on their
experience level and the availability of membership slots within the established

Our Inn is divided into ten (10) "Pupilage" teams comprised of one judge, two
Master lawyers, two Barristers, three Associates and two Pupils (law students).
Team members are expected to cross-mentor one another about various issues
affecting the profession. Teams are expected to meet regularly and exchange
information which furthers the mission of the Inn. In addition, six teams are
selected in the beginning of the year to present a program during one of the
monthly general membership meetings, for which members may receive CLE credit.
In keeping with tradition, the programs are educational and entertaining, while
promoting audience participation and lively discussions.

Membership in the Stafford Inn is an honor. It requires a commitment of time
and energy to the shared goal of promoting professionalism while fostering
fellowship among members of our legal community. The experience of membership
in the Stafford Inn is unique, and the lessons learned from it invaluable.

Again, welcome to the Stafford Inn! I am looking forward to a fun and
productive year.

Judge Stephanie W. Ray

President, 2013-14