The International Association of Law Schools is a private, non-political, non-profit, volunteer, collaborative, learned society dedicated to serving the world wide legal education community. It is an association of more than 160 law schools and departments from over 55 countries representing more than 7,500 law faculty members. Our primary mission is the improvement of legal education throughout the world.
The idea for an international association of law schools emerged from several meetings of legal educators from around the world who recognized the growing inter-relationship of norms from transnational legal systems. The first such meeting was held in Florence, Italy in the year 2000, and consisted of 50 invited legal educators from twenty-seven countries. This meeting led to additional meetings of international legal educators, and during the May 2004 meeting in Hawaii, 130 legal educators from forty-seven different countries unanimously adopted a resolution to form the International Association of Law Schools. In May 2000, a select group of legal educators from fourteen different countries, representing all types of the world’s legal systems, gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, and agreed to the terms of a charter for the International Association of Law Schools. In October 2005, the IALS was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia in the United States of America.
Since its transition in 2014 to a new charter and a truly independent Board of Governors, the Association has embarked upon an ambitious and innovative agenda of developing a global consensus on the fundamental principles, guidelines and outcomes of a legal education. To that end we have convened over 25 meetings, forums, conferences and workshops to ensure that all voices of our worldwide community of law teachers be heard and respected. These discussions have resulted in the adoption of the Singapore Declaration on Global Standards and Outcomes of a Legal Education and the Madrid Protocol on the Principles of Evaluation of a Legal Education. These foundational documents could only have been concluded through such cooperative and consensus building efforts. Our discussions and decisions are informed by the mission and experiences of all our members.
We are the voice of the global legal education community.