The American Law Institute is the leading independent law reform organization in the United States; its stated mission is to “promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaption to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work.”
“Wow. I was in shock to be invited to join two of my most accomplished colleagues as a member of the American Law Institute,” Gibbons said. “Being elected to the ALI is a distinct honor for any lawyer, judge or law professor.”
To be elected, a person first must be nominated by an American Law Institute member. Gibbons was nominated by his colleague, William Richman, Distinguished University Professor of Law.
“He’s a natural for the ALI,” Richman said. “He is a national expert in copyright law, as well as a leader in efforts to link the University with corresponding institutions in China. He is a great institutional contributor of time and effort. He will be a valuable addition.”
Candidates for membership also must demonstrate excellence in the law, be of high character, and contribute to the work of the institute.
Gibbons believes his nomination was based largely on his published law review articles, which have been cited by six courts.
“I think I have a body of scholarly work that demonstrates a commitment to law reform,” he said.
Being elected to the American Law Institute, Gibbons now is permitted to be part of the process that evaluates and promotes law reform.
“I will be able, from my personal knowledge, to bring these insights back to my students so that they will better understand both the process and the policies behind the law,” he said. “Participation in the ALI will influence my scholarship, improve my teaching, and permit me to serve.”
In addition to Gibbons and Richman, Susan Martyn, the Stoepler Professor of Law and Values at the UT College of Law, is a member of the American Law Institute.