About DRI

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DRI is the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel. Membership in DRI provides access to resources and tools for attorneys who strive to provide high-quality, balanced and excellent service to their clients and corporations. DRI is host to 29 substantive committees whose focus is to develop ongoing and critical dialogue about areas of practice. DRI provides access to resources and tools to grow your practice – members can search a database of more than 65,000 experts, attend renowned CLE seminars, conferences and webcasts, network with 16,000+ like-minded defense practitioners and more. DRI has served the defense bar for more than 50 years and focuses on five main goals:

  • Education: To teach and educate and to improve the skills of the defense law practitioner
  • Justice: To strive for improvement in the civil justice system
  • Balance: To be a counterpoint to the plaintiff's bar and seek balance in the justice system in the minds of potential jurors and on all fields where disputes are resolved
  • Economics: To assist members in dealing with the economic realities of the defense law practice, including the competitive legal marketplace
  • Professionalism and Service: To urge members to practice ethically and responsibly, keeping in mind the lawyer's responsibilities that go beyond the interest of the client to the good of American society as a whole


DRI is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation.

Diversity is a core value at DRI. Indeed, diversity, which includes sexual orientation, is fundamental to the success of the organization, and we seek out and embrace the innumerable benefits and contributions that the perspectives, backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences a diverse membership provides.

Inclusiveness is the chief means to increase the diversity of DRI's membership and leadership positions. DRI's members and potential leaders are often also members and leaders of other defense organizations. Accordingly, DRI encourages all national, state, and local defense organizations to promote diversity and inclusion in their membership and leadership.

Mission Statement

DRI is the international membership organization of all lawyers involved in the defense of civil litigation.

DRI is committed to:

  • Enhancing the skills, effectiveness, and professionalism of defense lawyers;
  • Anticipating and addressing issues germane to defense lawyers and the civil justice system;
  • Promoting appreciation of the role of the defense lawyer; and
  • Improving the civil justice system and preserving the civil jury

Awards and Scholarships


Celebrate and honor outstanding performance by state and local defense organizations (SLDOs), DRI law firms and individual members. Winners will be announced at the Celebration of Leadership on Friday, October 15, held in conjunction with the 2021 DRI Annual Meeting in Boston, MA from October 13–16. Tickets to the Celebration of Leadership are $100 each. Please purchase tickets when you register for the Annual Meeting.

2021 Professional Achievement and Service Awards Brochure (PDF)


DRI announces its annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship program, open to rising (2021–2022) second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ, and multiracial students. Incoming second- and third-year female law students are also eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. Incoming second- and third-year law students who also come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender are eligible to apply. Students who are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Law School or Law Student members of AAJ or students otherwise affiliated with or employed by AAJ are not eligible for DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarships. To qualify for this scholarship, candidate must be a full-time student. Evening students also qualify for consideration who have completed one-third or more of the total credit hours required for a degree by the applicant’s law school. The goal of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to two worthy law students from ABA accredited law schools in order to promote, in a tangible way, the DRI Diversity Statement in Principle. Two (2) scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to successful applicants. Recipients’ of the scholarships will be announced at the DRI Annual Meeting in October.

2021 Diversity Scholarship Program


Founded as the Defense Research Institute in 1960, more about DRI’s history can be found here (PDF).

DRI Antitrust Policy

DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar, intends to comply with all applicable antitrust laws. Accordingly, DRI cannot, and will not, tolerate conduct that could lead to, or even suggest, agreement among its members that might restrain trade or violate such laws. All such conduct is a violation of DRI policy.

Unanimously adopted by the DRI Board of Directors, June 16, 2013, in Prague, Czech Republic.