The Institute for Legal Research (ILR) was originally established as an Organized Research Unit (ORU) of the University of California, Berkeley by the UC Regents in 1967, under the name of the Earl Warren Legal Institute. As of July 2009, the Institute is a research center under the aegis of Berkeley Law.

The Institute's mission is to serve as a center for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and public service. Since the appointment of Harry N. Scheiber as Director in July 2002, the Institute has become committed to scholarly activities in five programs:

  • Constitutional Law and History

  • Criminal Justice Studies

  • Environmental Law and Policy

  • Law of the Sea Institute

  • Sho Sato Program in Japanese and U.S. Law

Research and other activities of the Institute are funded by the University, as well as the Berkeley Law Dean and outside foundation and governmental organizations, such as the California Sea Grant program and the UCOP Marine Council.

Collaboration with other campus ORUs and programs has been an important objective, and accordingly the Institute has had varied co-sponsorship of activities with the Institute for Governmental Studies, the Robbins Religious and Civil Law Collection, the Center for the Study of Law and Society, the Jefferson Memorial Lectureship, and the Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and Economy.

The Institute has also partnered with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the University of Washington, Inha University (Korea), Waseda University (Japan), the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (Norway), the Japanese Society for Sociology of Law, the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations, the Harte Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University, the Environmental Law Institute, the California Supreme Court Historical Society, the American Society for Legal History, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and other U.S. and foreign research institutions and universities.

Each ILR program has cooperative relationships with individual scholars (some of whom receive non-stipend appointments as Institute fellows) and with other university and research programs in the United States and abroad.


Harry Scheiber

(510) 643-9788

Staff Contact

Karen Chin

(510) 642-5125

Mailing Address

381 Boalt Hall , Berkeley, CA 94720 - 7200