Member Giving Circles are opportunities for ALI members to contribute at a higher level. All Circle donors receive recognition in the Institute's Annual Report and are considered a Sustaining member for that fiscal year.
Founders Circle: $50,000 and up
The founders and incorporators of The American Law Institute included Chief Justice William Howard Taft (a former U.S. President), then-future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, and former Secretary of State Elihu Root. Their mission of clarifying and improving the law still guides the Institute today as it approaches the beginning of a second century of law reform.
Benjamin N. Cardozo Circle: $25,000 - $49,999
Remembered for his significant influence on the development of 20th-century American law, Justice Benjamin Cardozo crafted many landmark decisions during his 18 years on the New York Court of Appeals and later as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. A founding member of The American Law Institute, he served on the ALI Council for 24 years and was its first Vice President, serving from 1923 until his elevation to the Supreme Court in 1932. Members of this circle are considered Sustaining members for life.
Learned Hand Circle: $15,000 - $24,999
A renowned jurist on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and later the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Judge Learned Hand has been quoted more often than any other lower-court judge by legal scholars and by the U.S. Supreme Court. A founding member of The American Law Institute, a 38-year member of the ALI Council, and the Institute's Vice President from 1935 to 1947, Judge Hand also served as an Adviser or committee member on numerous Institute projects and helped shape the ALI's future course, chairing the 1946-1947 Committee on the Future of the Institute.
Charles Alan Wright Circle: $10,000 - $14,999
Widely considered to be the foremost authority in the United States on constitutional law and federal procedure, Professor Wright, a member of the faculty of the University of Texas Law School for 45 years, was the author or coauthor of major treatises on the federal courts and on federal practice and procedure. President of The American Law Institute from 1993 until his death in 2000, he was elected a member of the Institute at the age of 30 and served on its Council for 31 years.
Herbert Wechsler Circle: $5,000 - $9,999
A preeminent scholar in constitutional law, criminal law, and federal courts at Columbia University School of Law, Professor Wechsler served as Director of The American Law Institute from 1963 to 1984, bringing many Institute projects to completion during his 21-year tenure. He is widely known for his work as the Chief Reporter for the ALI's highly influential Model Penal Code.
Soia Mentschikoff Circle: $2,000 - $4,999
Best known for her work in the development and drafting of the Uniform Commercial Code, Dean Mentschikoff had a remarkable and trailblazing career. She was the first woman to be made a partner at a major Wall Street firm, the first woman to teach at Harvard Law School and later the first woman on the faculty at the University of Chicago School of Law. She was also the first female president of the American Association of Law Schools, and the first woman to serve as Dean at the University of Miami School of Law. When she was appointed Associate Chief Reporter for the Uniform Commercial Code, she became the first woman to serve as a project Reporter for The American Law Institute.
Contributions made by Members will be used at the discretion of the Council, but the funds may also be designated to support a specific project or program.