Who We Are
The Academy was founded in 1954 and is recognized as the most prestigious organization of trial lawyers in the world.
We are an international legal association both in spirit and membership. The Academy limits Fellowship to 500 active trial lawyers from the United States, and includes over 150 Fellows from nearly 40 countries across the globe.
Fellowship in the Academy is by invitation only, and trial lawyers become Fellows only after an extremely rigorous vetting process, which includes both peer and judicial review. The Academy seeks out Fellows who have achieved a career of excellence as shown by their skills in trial, and as demonstrated by their integrity and professionalism. Members are often heavily involved in pro bono efforts and contribute generously of their time and resources to their local communities.
The Academy has three meetings of its membership each year: an Annual Meeting, a Mid-Year Meeting, and an International Meeting.
Spectacular venues, stimulating speakers and fellowship with the best trial lawyers in the world are the reasons why people make attendance at our meetings a priority. Meetings are planned as much for families and guests as they are for Fellows, and members return time and time again for the camaraderie and life-long friendships.
At our Annual and Mid-Year Meetings, our featured speakers range from notable judges to authors to filmmakers to business leaders, and they are always compelling. The Annual Meeting also includes a Dean’s Address designed to advance the Rule of Law and trial advocacy.
Our social events may take place in a beautiful ballroom or a renowned museum or a unique location like the Miramar military base or the Cirque de Soleil training school.
Our entertainment is top-notch and often features well-known performers. Academy meeting destinations are always in an inviting location. Recent meeting sites include Santa Barbara, New York, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Austin, and Montreal.
The Academy’s International Meetings are opportunities for our Fellows and their families to gather with each other annually for the voyage of a lifetime. During these meetings, we form even deeper friendships. Excursions have included a cruise on the Danube, a safari in Kenya, visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
When the Academy visits a country on its international trips, it has a tradition of frequently taking up projects on behalf of the underprivileged. We have built homes in South Africa, funded a medical facility along on the Amazon River, painted a school in Costa Rica, and constructed a dormitory for Berber girls in Morocco so that they may attend school beyond sixth grade. The Academy’s generosity has changed and improved lives around the world.
The Academy’s dedicated leadership includes its volunteer Executive Committee and its volunteer Board. The Academy’s President sits for a term of one year and enjoys voting rights as part of the Board following his or her tenure.