The Academy is a group of truly elite trial lawyers representing all sides of the trial bar:
- Prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases
- Plaintiff and defense counsel in civil litigation (including business and personal injury cases)
- Public interest/public service trial lawyers
- International trial lawyers who practice at local and federal levels
Fellowship is by invitation only. Trial lawyers are invited to become Fellows only after an extremely rigorous vetting process, which includes both peer and judicial review.
Active Academy membership is limited to 500 Fellows from the United States. In addition, IATL includes Fellows from nearly 40 countries throughout the world. Trial lawyers are admitted to fellowship in the Academy only if they possess, in an exceptional degree, the following qualifications:
- Superior skill and recognized ability in trial and appellate practice
- Services rendered in promoting the best interests of the legal profession and the highest standards and techniques of advocacy
- Excellent character, professionalism, and absolute integrity
Members are often heavily involved in pro bono efforts and generously contribute time and resources to their local communities.
There are four classes of membership:
- General – Fellows actively engaged in the practice of law
- Public Interest/Public Service – Fellows actively engaged in the practice of law in a public service capacity
- Judicial and Honorary – Fellows in good standing who have become members of the judiciary or have entered another profession
- Emeritus – Fellows in good standing who have ceased practice by reason of retirement or disability