Founded by Professor Julian Levi at Hastings College of the Law in 1983, the Public Law Research Institute (PLRI) analyzes legal issues that currently confront California's state and local governments, at the request of various state and local governmental offices, including the California Senate Office of Research and the Research Bureau of the California State Library. The range of topics varies from year to year, and is as broad as the spectrum of issues state and local governments confront. Past topics have included legislative responses to the AIDS crisis, corporate governance, election reform, welfare reform, economic development, crime control, health care reform, and more.
PLRI is part of UC Hastings' Center for State and Local Government Law, which provides clinical opportunities for Hastings and other UC system students to gain experience in Sacramento and supplements existing technical training for legislators and legislative staff through seminars at Hastings and in the Capitol.
PLRI's main report areas are Governance, Environmental Policy, Land Use, and Health Law.