Minnesota Law

Fall 2023
For the Record

New Law Library Exhibit

The Law Library's Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center

A new exhibit in the Law Library's Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the American Law Institute (ALI) and the many contributions of Law School faculty to the Institute’s mission. Minnesota is one of a few select law schools — including Michigan, Texas, and the University of Chicago — to host the exhibit, which was curated by ALI. 

Founded in 1923, the Institute has endeavored to reduce the uncertainty and complexity of American law and improve the administration of justice. Through its Restatements of the Law, among other publications, ALI has made important strides toward this goal. These publications, covering a broad range of practice areas, provide concise and influential guidance for judges, lawyers, and legislators. 

The exhibit documents a selection of contributions of Law School faculty to ALI projects, dating from the Institute’s foundation. Dean Everett Fraser (1920–1948) became one of ALI’s earliest members and served as reporter for the fourth volume of the Restatement of the Law, Torts. Fraser was also an adviser on the Restatement for Property and for Trusts. Faculty involvement was particularly promoted under the deanship of Professor Robert Stein ’61 (1979–1994). As Professor Stein has said, “By participating in the scholarly work of the Institute, our distinguished faculty have an opportunity to clarify, modernize, and influence the development of American law.” Stein and Dean William Lockhart (1956–1972) were members of ALI’s governing Council, and Stein has also been an adviser on the Restatement of the Law Second, Property and an adviser on the Restatement of the Law, Third, Trusts. Stein has further served on the Drafting Committee for the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which governs commercial transactions. The UCC has been uniformly adopted by the states and represents one of ALI’s most significant achievements. 

Professor Matthew Bodie

Among other current faculty members who have played prominent roles, Professor Allan Erbsen is a member of the Consultative Group for the Restatement of the Law Third, Torts. Professor Daniel Schwarcz has served as an adviser on the Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance, and Professor Matthew Bodie has served as a reporter on the Restatement of the Law, Employment Law

Professor Kevin Reitz has been the reporter on the Model Penal Code, Sentencing. Reitz notes that the Model Penal Code has greatly impacted sentencing and criminal justice policies, which he says have been shifting dramatically at the state level despite federal uncertainties. Professor Richard Painter is a reporter on the Principles of the Law, Government Ethics, providing ethical guidance and standards of conduct for government officials and entities. Professor Claire Hill is a reporter on the Principles of the Law, Compliance and Enforcement for Organizations

Professor Daniel Schwarcz

Minnesota faculty have been recipients of ALI awards, including two Early Career Scholars Awards. Professor Amy Monahan was recognized for her work concerning health care and public sector pensions, as was Professor Daniel Schwarcz for his scholarship on insurance law. 

The work of the American Law Institute, a cornerstone of American jurisprudence, remains beneficial long beyond its centenary, and Minnesota faculty continue to make important contributions to ALI’s mission.