THE INSTITUTE FOR LEGAL RESEARCH (ILR) serves 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 three programs:
As of July 2016, the Law of the Sea Institute (LOSI)
is now administered by the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment.
ILR was originally established in 1967 by the UC Regents as an Organized Research Unit (ORU) of the University of California, Berkeley under the name of the Earl Warren Legal Institute. In July 2005 the name was changed to the Institute for Legal Research, and in July 2009 the Institute became a research center under the auspices of Berkeley Law.
Research and other activities of the Institute have been supported by the University, as well as foundation and governmental organizations, such as the California Sea Grant Program, the UC Marine Council, the Pacific Rim Research Program, the MacArthur Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the Ford Foundation.
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, the Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and Economy, and the Institute for International Studies.
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 Association of 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 US 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.