About Us The Leavitt Institute relies on the support and willingness of legal professionals who travel throughout the world and share their knowledge to help developing nations

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The donation of time and resources to do so is small, but they strongly impacts all the areas where they volunteer.

The Leavitt Institute for International Development (TLI) is an organization of legal professionals dedicated to spreading the rule of law and development of democratic liberties in developing nations.

TLI was organized in 2005 by David and Chelom Leavitt, both graduates of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. After living in Ukraine for one year, with their children, as volunteers for the American Bar Association (ABA), the Leavitts were impressed by the Ukrainian people and the potential for democratic reforms to improve lives in that country. They started TLI with the premise that seasoned legal professionals can share their experience and knowledge in order to help push democratic reforms. 

TLI began with private donations from the Leavitt‘s family and friends. In 2005, TLI sent a handful of legal professionals to Ukraine to teach in one or two law schools. Now, six years later, TLI is in three different counties using the same basic idea of spreading democracy through the sharing of legal expertise. TLI enjoys generous funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy, in-kind contributions from both the United States and Ukraine, and legal professionals from every region of the United States. 

As part of its efforts, TLI involves some of the brightest international relations specialists and legal minds throughout the world to teach democratic principles, rule of law, and ethics. TLI teachers are experienced judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and legal counselors from the United States. They lecture on a variety of subjects and make a lasting impression on the minds of their students. 

TLI relies on the support of legal professionals willing to travel to developing nations and share their knowledge with ambitious law students. Each professional’s donation of time and resources is small, but its impact is being felt throughout the world.