The Work of the American Law Institute in Historical Context

American Law Institute Centennial History (Andrew S. Gold & Robert W. Gordon, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2023)

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2022-60

39 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2022

See all articles by Kenneth S. Abraham

Kenneth S. Abraham

University of Virginia School of Law

G. Edward White

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: August 29, 2022

Abstract

This chapter examines the intellectual and social contexts in which the American Law Institute (ALI) has operated, and how they have influenced the course the ALI and its projects have taken during the one hundred years of its history. Our aim is to situate the central preoccupations of the ALI at various times in the larger culture of the American legal profession and the social forces influencing American law. From its origins the ALI has been a self-consciously elitist organization, operating under the premise that a collection of distinguished individuals drawn from the practicing bar, the judiciary, and the legal academy can make significant contributions to the growth and development of American law. But despite that premise, the ALI has not been free from pressures emanating from the broader legal profession and American society as a whole. One of the themes of the chapter is the ALI’s inability to be immune from those pressures in its mission to improve the state of American law, despite its strong commitment to professional independence from outside influences.

Keywords: ALI, legal profession, Restatements, intellectual context

Suggested Citation

Abraham, Kenneth S. and White, G. Edward, The Work of the American Law Institute in Historical Context (August 29, 2022). American Law Institute Centennial History (Andrew S. Gold & Robert W. Gordon, eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2023), Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2022-60, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4203921

Kenneth S. Abraham (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-3616 (Phone)
434-982-2845 (Fax)

G. Edward White

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
(434) 924-3455 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.virginia.edu/lawweb/faculty.nsf/PrF

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