Founded in 1972, the Academy is the nation's oldest lawyers' organization dedicated to appellate practice. Its members are California lawyers with substantial appellate experience, who are elected to membership after rigorous scrutiny of their skill in advocacy before the appellate courts.
The Academy has over 100 members, all of whom have been in practice for at least 10 years, have served as lead counsel in at least 25 appeals and have orally argued at least 15. Other qualifications for membership include good character and professional reputation, outstanding appellate ability, and a continuing commitment to quality appellate practice. The Academy promotes contacts between its members and state and federal appellate judges, files friend-of-the-court briefs on important issues of appellate law and procedure, and provides a forum for its members to exchange ideas, attend continuing education courses and help each other on difficult or novel appellate issues.