The Academy was founded in 1989 by the late Leo C. DiEgidio, who had taught school for some years before entering the practice of law. Leo had concluded that many of the Continuing Legal Education classes then available, mostly from national organizations rather than programs specific to Ohio, were not relevant to small-office practitioners, who encounter a wide variety of legal issues of concern to the individuals, families, and small businesses which they serve. Leo began by presenting a series of Wednesday-evening, three-hour classes at locations in Cuyahoga and Summit Counties concerning traffic law, municipal zoning practice, real estate title issues, and similar legal topics which had not been the subject of nationally-sponsored presentations.
The Academy has continued that purpose, and has engaged judges, magistrates, State and County agency directors, administrative hearing officers, and experienced private practitioners, to present a continuing series of programs, each of which is approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio toward fulfilling an Ohio attorney's biennial requirement of continuing legal education.
Since 2007, the Academy has presented one- and two-day programs at locations around Ohio, in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, Erie, and Guernsey Counties, on topics of interest to attorneys representing county and local governments as well as to private legal counsel. These topics have included Ohio Election Law, Ohio Foreclosure Law, Federal Financing of Local Government - Private Partership Initiatives, and Child Support Calculation and Enforcement.
Since 1994, the Academy has presented a program in November in Mexico, at locations on the Caribbean Coast and on the Pacific Coast, except in 2003 the program was in Costa Rica. Each program provided from fifteen to twenty hours of CLE, each including the mandatory instruction in Ethics and Substance Abuse, and since 1998 including the mandatory instruction in Professionalism.