American Law Institute

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The American Law Institute (ALI) is a research and advocacy group of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars established in 1923 to promote the clarification and simplification of United States common law and its adaptation to changing social needs. Members of ALI include law professors, practicing attorneys, judges and other professionals in the legal industry. ALI writes documents known as "treatises", which are summaries of state common law (legal principles that come out of state court decisions). Many courts and legislatures look to ALI's treatises as authoritative reference material concerning many legal issues. However, some legal experts and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, along with some conservative commentators, have voiced concern about ALI rewriting the law as they want it to be instead of as it is.

The ALI drafts, approves, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Principles of the Law, model acts, and other proposals for law reform. The ALI is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

At any time, ALI is engaged in up to 20 projects examining the law. Some current projects have been watched closely by the media, particularly the revision of the Model Penal Code Sexual Assault provisions.

The American Law Institute was founded in 1923 on the initiative of William Draper Lewis, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, following a study by a group of prominent American judges, lawyers, and teachers who sought to address the uncertain and complex nature of early 20th century American law. According to the "Committee on the Establishment of a Permanent Organization for the Improvement of the Law," part of the law's uncertainty stemmed from the lack of agreement on fundamental principles of the common-law system, while the law's complexity was attributed to the numerous variations within different jurisdictions. The Committee recommended that a perpetual society be formed to improve the law and the administration of justice in a scholarly and scientific manner.

The organization was incorporated on February 23, 1923, at a meeting called by the Committee in the auditorium of Memorial Continental Hall in Washington, D.C. According to ALI's Certificate of Incorporation, its purpose is "to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work".

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Oral Histories, 1989-1993 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Maguire, John MacArthur, 1888-. Papers, 1924-1973 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn University of Iowa. College of Law. Records of the University of Iowa College of Law, 1901-1966. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Papers, 1968-1993 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Dunham. Allison. Papers, 1936-1976 (bulk: 1960-1971) Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Simmons (David Andrew) Papers 65-008., 1861-1963 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn Williston, Samuel, 1861-1963. Papers, 1927-1951. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Louis B. Sohn Papers, 1936-1979 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Scott, Austin Wakeman, 1884-1981. Austin Wakeman Scott papers, 1906-1979. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Scott, Austin Wakeman. Austin Wakeman Scott papers. 1906-1979. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hazard, Geoffrey Cornell, 1929-. Geoffrey Cornell Hazard papers, 1947-1978 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf American Law Institute. Correspondence with Johan Thorsten Sellin, 1934-1960. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Thurston, Edward Sampson, 1876-1948. Papers, 1925-1933. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Levi, Edward H. Papers. 1894-1998. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Tweed, Harrison, 1885-1969. Reminiscences of Harrison Tweed: oral history, 1967. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf First Restatement of the Law Records, 1923-1965 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1990. Papers, 1916-1972 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Sullivan, Russell, 1901-. Papers, 1958-1963. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn Zechariah Chafee papers, 1898-1957 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Carnegie Corporation of New York. Carnegie Corporation of New York Records, 1900-2004. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Louis Henkin Papers, 1940-2007, [Bulk Dates: 1980-2005] Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Future of the Institute Records, Bulk, 1929-1948, 1929-1968 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Freund, Paul A. Paul A. Freund papers. 1918-1993. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn John MacArthur Maguire papers Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Shenk, John W., 1875-1959. John W. Shenk papers, 1900-1935. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Corcoran, Thomas G. Thomas G. Corcoran papers, 1792-1982 (bulk 1965-1980). Library of Congress
referencedIn Felix Frankfurter papers, 1846-1966 (bulk 1907-1966). Library of Congress
referencedIn Michael D. Green Papers (Restatement of Torts, Third: Products Liability), 1994-2000 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives, 1885-1990s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Felix Frankfurter Papers, 1846-1966, (bulk 1907-1966) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Arthur E. Sutherland papers Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hays, Paul R. (Paul Raymond), 1903-1980. Paul R. Hays papers, ca.1910-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Levi, Edward H. Edward H. Levi Papers. 1894-1998. Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Papers, 1967-1980 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hastie, William. William Hastie papers. 1916-1976. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn "The Practical Lawyer" Editorial Office Files, 1950-1983 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Geoffrey Cornell Hazard Papers, 1947-1978 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1925-1949 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Murray, George Welwood. Memoranda, letters, etc., concerning the work of the American Law Institute [manuscript] : from the files of George Welwood Murray Columbia University Law School, Diamond Law Library, Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Columbia Law School
referencedIn Papers, 1927-1984 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Homer D. Crotty papers and addenda, 1859-2011 The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
referencedIn Thomas G. Corcoran Papers, 1792-1982, (bulk 1965-1980) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers, 1840-1961 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn American Law Institute. Council. Proceedings of the ... meeting of the Council. Albany Law School, Schaffer Law Library
referencedIn Morgan, Edmund Morris, 1878-1966. Papers of Edmund Morris Morgan, 1925-1949 (inclusive). Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Bigelow, Harry A. Papers, 1925-1948 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Burlingham, Charles Culp, 1858-1959. Papers, 1876-1960 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Records, 1928-1931 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Susie Sharp Papers, 1900-1997 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf American Law Institute. Colorado annotations of the restatement of agency / Benjamin S. Galland, general editor. William A. Wise Law Library, University of Colorado Law School, CU Law Library
referencedIn Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. Papers of Learned Hand, 1840-1961 (inclusive), 1892-1961 (bulk). Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn James Vorenberg papers, 1965-1979 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Corbin, Arthur L. (Arthur Linton), 1874-1967. Typescript and manuscript notes relating to the Restatement of the law of contracts. Yale University, Law School Library
referencedIn Kitchelt, Florence Ledyard Cross, 1874-1961. Papers, 1885-1961 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Casner, A. James (Andrew James), 1907-. Papers, 1961-1971 (inclusive). Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
creatorOf Carrington, Paul D., 1931-. Papers, 1968-1993 (inclusive), 1985-1992 (bulk). Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Leach, Walter Barton. W. Barton Leach Papers. 1920-1971. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Thacher, Thomas D. (Thomas Day), 1881-1950. Thomas Day Thacher papers, 1779-1984 (inclusive), 1914-1950 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Pilpel, Harriet F. Papers, 1967-1980 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Herbert Wechsler papers, 1919-2000, [Bulk Dates: 1932-1995] Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Simmons, David Andrew, 1897-1951. Simmons (David Andrew) Papers, 1861-1963 University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Thomas Day Thacher papers, 1779-1984, 1914-1950 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Annual Meeting Records, 1923-1995 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
creatorOf Reel-to-reel Audio, 1958-1992 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1927-1951 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Karl Loewenstein Papers, 1822-1977, 1908-1973 Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
referencedIn Lawrence Waggoner Papers (Restatement of the Law), 1995-2010 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
creatorOf Statement of Essential Human Rights Project Records, 1924-2008 University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library: American Law Institute Archives
referencedIn Kathrine R. Everett and R. O. Everett Papers, 1851-1993 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Roscoe Pound papers, 1888-1964 Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Bar Association corporateBody
associatedWith American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education corporateBody
associatedWith American Law Institute. Council. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society corporateBody
associatedWith Arthur Corbin person
associatedWith Austin W. Scott person
associatedWith Barton Leach person
associatedWith Bigelow, Harry A., 1874-1950 person
associatedWith Burlingham, Charles Culp, 1858-1959 person
associatedWith Carnegie Corporation of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Endowment for International Peace corporateBody
associatedWith Carrington, Paul D., 1931- person
associatedWith Casner, A. James, 1907-1990 person
associatedWith Chafee, Zechariah, 1885-1957 person
associatedWith Charles E. Clark person
associatedWith Commission to Study the Organization of Peace corporateBody
associatedWith Commonwealth Fund corporateBody
associatedWith Corbin, Arthur L. (Arthur Linton), 1874-1967. person
associatedWith Corcoran, Thomas G. person
associatedWith Corcoran, Thomas G. person
associatedWith Crotty, Homer D. person
associatedWith David K. Kadane person
associatedWith Donald L. McCaskey person
associatedWith Draper, Anna M. person
associatedWith Dunham, Allison person
associatedWith Earl Warren person
associatedWith Edgar N. Durfee person
associatedWith Edward S. Thurston person
associatedWith Ernst Rabel person
associatedWith Everett Fraser person
associatedWith Everett, Kathrine R. (Kathrine Robinson), 1893-1992 person
associatedWith Everett, R. O. (Reuben Oscar), 1879-1971 person
associatedWith Floyd Mecham person
associatedWith Fowler Harper person
associatedWith Fowler V. Harper person
associatedWith Francis H. Bohlen person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965 person
associatedWith Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965. person
associatedWith Franklin Delano Roosevelt person
associatedWith Galland, Benjamin S. b. 1888. person
associatedWith Gerhart Husserl person
correspondedWith Glueck, Sheldon, 1896- person
associatedWith Glueck, Sheldon, 1896-1980. person
associatedWith Goodrich, Herbert F. 1889-1962. person
associatedWith Green, Michael D., 1950- person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961. person
associatedWith Harriet (Fleishl) Pilpel person
associatedWith Harry Shulman person
associatedWith Hastie, William. person
associatedWith Hays, Paul R. (Paul Raymond), 1903-1980. person
associatedWith Hazard, Geoffrey Cornell, 1929- person
associatedWith Hazard, Geoffrey Cornell, 1929- person
associatedWith Helen S. Chait person
associatedWith Henkin, Louis. person
associatedWith Henry Upson Sims person
associatedWith Herbert Goodrich person
associatedWith Herman Oliphant person
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith James Byrne person
associatedWith James Casner person
associatedWith John Ellingston person
associatedWith John Hanna person
associatedWith Joseph Beale person
associatedWith Joseph B. Robinson person
associatedWith Julian S. Bush person
associatedWith Kitchelt, Florence Ledyard Cross, 1874-1961. person
associatedWith Kripke, Homer, 1912-1995 person
associatedWith Lawrence H. Eldredge person
associatedWith Leach, W. Barton (Walter Barton), 1900- person
associatedWith Levi, Edward H. (Edward Hirsch), 1911-2000. person
associatedWith Levi, Edward Hirsch, 1911- person
associatedWith Lewis, William Draper, 1867-1949. person
associatedWith Loewenstein, Karl, 1891-1973 person
associatedWith Louis B. Ewbank person
associatedWith Lucie Krassa person
associatedWith Maguire, John MacArthur, 1888- person
associatedWith Maguire, John MacArthur, 1888-1978 person
associatedWith Mary Eschweiler person
associatedWith Maurice T. Van Hecke person
associatedWith Morgan, Edmund Morris, 1878-1966 person
associatedWith Morgan, Edmund Morris, 1878-1966. person
associatedWith Murray, George Welwood person
associatedWith Oliver S. Rundell person
associatedWith Oliver W. Branch person
associatedWith Outdoor Advertising Association of America corporateBody
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Pilpel, Harriet F. person
correspondedWith Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964 person
associatedWith Ralph W. Aigler person
associatedWith Richard R. Powell person
associatedWith Robert Jackson person
associatedWith Rockefeller Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Roland R. Foulke person
associatedWith Rollin M. Perkins person
associatedWith Sam Miller person
associatedWith Samuel Williston person
associatedWith Scott, Austin Wakeman, 1884-1981 person
associatedWith Scott, Austin Wakeman, 1884-1981. person
associatedWith Sharp, Susie, 1907-1996 person
associatedWith Shenk, John W., 1875-1959. person
associatedWith Simmons, David Andrew, 1897-1951 person
associatedWith Simmons, David Andrew, 1897-1951. person
correspondedWith Sohn, Louis B. person
associatedWith Sullivan, Russell, 1901- person
associatedWith Sutherland, Arthur E., 1902-1973 person
associatedWith Sylvia Livingston person
associatedWith Thacher, Thomas Day, 1881-1950 person
associatedWith Thacher, Thomas D. (Thomas Day), 1881-1950. person
associatedWith Thurston, Edward Sampson, 1876-1948. person
associatedWith Tweed, Harrison, 1885-1969. person
associatedWith Twentieth Century Fund corporateBody
associatedWith United Nations. General Assembly. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Wickersham Commission corporateBody
associatedWith University of Iowa. College of Law. corporateBody
associatedWith Victor Morawetz person
associatedWith Vorenberg, James. person
associatedWith Waggoner, Lawrence W. person
associatedWith Warren A. Seavey person
associatedWith Warren Burger person
associatedWith Wechsler, Herbert, 1909-2000 person
associatedWith Wechsler, Herbert, 1909-2000. person
associatedWith William Draper Lewis person
associatedWith William E. McCurdy person
associatedWith Williston, Samuel, 1861-1963 person
associatedWith Williston, Samuel, 1861-1963. person
associatedWith Wolkin, Paul A. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States 00 US
Colorado CO US
Philadelphia PA US
Subject
Annotations and citations (Law)
Income tax
Equity
Industrial relations
Comparative law
International trade
Products liability
Restitution
Trade associations
Property
Pensions
Corporate governance
Complex litigation
Agency (Law)
Gifts--Taxation
Lawyers
Taxation
Lawyers--Disbarment, disqualification, etc
Domestic relations
Uniform commercial code
Inheritance and transfer tax
Conflict of laws
Contracts
Contracts for deeds
Human rights
Torts
Commercial law
Administrative law
Monopolies
Criminal law
Trusts and trustees
Judgments
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Establishment 1923

Active 1993

Americans

English

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