This Director’s Letter was originally published in the winter 2022 edition of The ALI Reporter.

The American Law Institute will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. An occasion of this sort is a natural time for us to reflect on what we have been able to accomplish in our first 100 years, as well as an opportunity to plan for the Institute’s future. This is why we have launched the Second Century Campaign.

The Second Century Campaign has the ambitious goal of raising $35 million by the end of 2023. The Institute has never embarked on a capital campaign of this magnitude. The last time we undertook a serious effort of this sort our members and supporters came together to raise $5.5 million in the late 1980s (about $12.4 million in today’s dollars). Our goal this time is not simply to fund the Institute’s work in the short-term, but rather to secure funding that will help support the ALI’s work for the next 100 years.

Every year, I am so enormously grateful to our members who commit countless hours to our projects by participating in project meetings and the Annual Meeting, who thoroughly consider each project draft and share their comments, and to those who provide financial support to the Institute by becoming Sustaining Members, contributing to our Annual Fund, supporting the class gift, or including the Institute in their estate planning. These financial contributions from our members play a key role in making our work possible.

Building upon these efforts, the Second Century Campaign seeks to ensure that the ALI will be able to continue doing its important work despite significant changes that are likely to affect us. More important, publication sales currently account for the greatest portion of the ALI’s revenue; however, the publication industry is under pressure, and experts tell us that in the future we are unlikely to be able to rely as much on this key income stream. Meanwhile, the cost of what we do and want to do is increasing.

The result is a gap between the ALI’s resources and the funding it is likely to need in the future. Through our Second Century Campaign, we will close that gap without compromising the Institute’s financial and intellectual independence, which is so critically important to the legitimacy of our work. Maintaining our independence necessarily limits our sources of financial support. That is why we need to turn to our extraordinary members, who understand the ALI’s mission and value our vital work promoting the rule of law, to help raise the substantial resources necessary to make our ambitious goals possible, including:

  • Produce Restatements, Principles, and Model Codes in areas of law that will provide great legal and societal benefit, some of which will provide little revenue to the ALI.
  • Eliminate barriers to participation in our work, ensuring that our membership remains diverse and broad, and that there are no financial obstacles to participating in our process.
  • Help under-resourced state courts handle the broad range of cases they encounter by providing free access to our Restatements, Principles, and Model Codes.

See www.ali.org/anniversary/priorities to see the full list of fundraising priorities.

As with all campaigns, this has been a multi-year effort. Last year, the ALI’s Special Committee on Development for the ALI’s 100th Anniversary established a $35 million goal for the Second Century Campaign. All contributions to the Institute beginning on July 1, 2016, have been included in the campaign’s fundraising figures, and as of January 2022, we have raised $24 million toward our goal. It is definitely an impressive beginning but we still have a long way to go!

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the ALI members whose contributions have already been counted, beginning with those members whom we lost during our campaign period and who generously chose to include ALI in their estate planning. These cherished members of the Institute gave so much of their time and knowledge to the ALI’s projects, and additionally have helped provide enormous resources for the ALI’s future: Bennett Boskey, Geoff Hazard, Vester Hughes, Mary Kay Kane, and Harry Sigman.

I would also like to recognize and thank the first major donors who have already contributed or pledged $250,000 or more to the Second Century Campaign: Carnegie Corporation of New York, Andréa and Ken Frazier, Ann and Daniel Girard, Andrew Hendry, David F. Levi, Judith Miller and Peter Buscemi, and Victor Schwartz, as well as three donors who wish to remain anonymous. I am overwhelmed by their level of generosity.

Despite these successes, our fundraising work is far from done. I hope that all members who are able will contribute what they can to the campaign. The financial support of our members—which comes on top of their vitally important work on the substance of our projects—is critical to the future of the Institute.

For members who have the means, we have created a challenge to become one of 100 donors giving $100,000 to the Institute, payable over 10 years or through a bequest. Although the “100 for 100” challenge has only begun, several donors have already joined: Apgar-Black Foundation; Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers and Matt Rogers; Teresa Wilton Harmon; Roberta Cooper Ramo and Barry Ramo; and Lori and Steve Weise. To them, I am enormously grateful.

We are also inviting law firms that share in the ALI’s dedication to the rule of law to participate in the campaign. Inaugural firms donating at the President’s Level of $200,000 or more, payable over five years, are Jones Day; Munger, Tolles & Olson; Sidley Austin; and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. I am thankful to these firms as well as to others that are contributing at different levels.

I hope that you will join me and other members of the Institute in supporting the Second Century Campaign. Details about the campaign, our donors, and our goals can be found in this and future issues of The ALI Reporter or online on the ALI’s 100th Anniversary webpages. If you would like more information about how to participate in the 100 for 100 challenge, or would like to talk about how to get your firm involved, please feel free to contact me directly.

We are currently planning to celebrate our 100th Anniversary at the 2023 Annual Meeting. I am confident that at that time, with the help of the ALI’s members, we will also be celebrating a successful Second Century Campaign. To that end, throughout the duration of the campaign, you will be receiving communications encouraging your contribution, including from members of the ALI’s Development Committee. It is our goal to have the largest proportion of member participation possible in this effort.

Therefore, in the coming months, I will invite each of you to join the ALI members who have already made the Institute a philanthropic priority, and give to the Second Century Campaign, as we come together in this historic moment to celebrate what we have already accomplished together and ensure the ALI’s place in the future of law.

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Richard L. Revesz

Richard L. Revesz, Director of The American Law Institute, is the AnBryce Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at the New York University School of Law. He is one of the nation’s leading voices in the fields of environmental and regulatory law and policy. His work focuses on the use of cost-benefit analysis in administrative regulation, federalism and environmental regulation, design of liability regimes for environmental protection, and positive political economy analysis of environmental regulation. Director Revesz serves as Faculty Director of NYU Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to improving the quality of government decisionmaking.

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