The CLSA encourages and facilitates independent study, educational and practice development groups formed by CLSA Fellows under the auspices of the society that fall within the parameters of the Institutes of the CLSA. These independent groups are referred to as institutes, but may be alternately designated academy, college, council or such other descriptive term that designates the nature of the institute purpose, as the group founders may select. The CLSA provides the institutes with initial guidance and administrative support, design and maintenance of websites, coordination of meetings, liaison with CLSA In-House Counsel Fellows and other services incidental to the ongoing operation, growth and development of the institutes. Once operating, the institutes may act and function independent of the CLSA, with minimal CLSA oversight. Institutes may hold annual or other scheduled meetings in conjunction with CLSA conferences or independently.
Membership in the institutes may be by CLSA Fellows only. Each institute may, depending upon its individual pursuits, meeting schedule, speaker retention, and overall level of functionality, assess dues for purposes of covering operational expenses above and beyond the initial services provided by the CLSA.
The CLSA requires that all institutes adopt the CLSA Institute Primary By-Laws (Primary By-Laws), but allows each institute to create, adopt, amend, alter and/or delete any other by-laws(s) not in conflict with the Primary By-Laws. At this time, the CLSA recognizes the American Academy of Alternative Dispute Resolution (AAADR) in conjunction and joint affiliation with the Litigation Counsel of America.