FAQs

Q: What is the Purpose of Lambda Alpha International?
A:  LAI is an honorary society that provides a forum for the study and advancement of land economics where the winnowing and sifting of ideas takes place in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Our goal is to foster a closer association with academia and professionals involved with land economics and related fields by serving as a catalyst for the advancement of land economics by facilitating the interaction of members who have distinguished themselves in their professions, their communities, and through academic achievement.

Q: What does Lambda Alpha International do?
A:  LAI advances the higher study and practice of land economics, provides a forum for members to develop a broad and deep social and professional peer network of colleagues with the leaders in all professions associated with land economics, allows members to contribute to the advancement of land economics in all fields, and constitutes a confederation of local chapters that brings knowledgeable professional together at regular chapter meetings and at LAI-wide conferences.

Q: What is the history of Lambda Alpha International?
A:  Lambda Alpha International, the Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics, was founded in November of 1930 in Chicago, IL under the leadership of the renowned land economist and champion of academic freedom, Richard T. Ely.

Q: How many chapters does Lambda Alpha International currently have?
A: There are 24 chapters worldwide.

Q: How do you become a member of LAI?
A:  You gain membership through invitation only and must be nominated by active members and vetted by local membership. You are required to have at least ten years of experience, have contribution to the field of land economics, and be distinguished in community through public service with high ethical standards.

Q: Are all professionals related to land economics accepted?
A:  Yes, local chapters include members from all professions related to land economics: Architects, City Planners, Appraisers, Developers, Lawyers, Barristers, Bankers, Government Officials, Engineers, Economics, Environmental Scientists, Real Estate Agents, and other land use professionals.

Q: What are some typical chapter activities?
A:  There is an annual dinner initiating new members and several breakfasts or lunch programs per year. Meetings provide a forum for the discussion and debate of land economics principals, concepts and projects. Meetings allow for the interactions between knowledgeable colleagues to gain insights as to how to make better land use and real estate decisions. Meetings also allow for members to develop strong social relationships with colleagues in their city of residence.

Q: Does Lambda Alpha International have a newsletter?
A:  Yes, LAI’s monthly publication, KeyNotes, is delivered electronically to your inbox every month and also can be found on LAI’s website in the library section. You can also view historical archives of the newsletter there as well. We encourage chapters to submit announcement and recaps of events to share with the organization.

Q: Does Lambda Alpha International offer any awards?
A:  Yes, there are several awards including; Public Service Award, Urban Affairs Award, Journalism Award, Author Award , Richard T. Ely Distinguished Educator Award, Humanitarian Award , International Fellow Award, Edward L. Johnson Member of the Year Award, and the Skyline Award.

Q: What is the Land Economics Foundation?
A:  LEF is a not-for-profit charitable foundation organized to administer an investment fund which provides grants for research projects related to land economics. Over the past three years LEF has committed capital (5% of assets) to a number of significant and worthwhile endeavors across the country on a matching basis with other non-profit entities.

Q: What are the annual membership dues?
A:  As a member you will pay the international  dues of  $150 USD and  your local chapters  dues, which are set by each individual chapter. There is also a voluntary contribution to the LEF of $50 USD.

Q: What are the tax liabilities for Chapters?
A: Each Chapter is responsible to follow the applicable laws in their area regarding what is necessary to exist as a professional society (501(c) 6 in the United States). The Bylaws of LAI (Article VI, Section 8) require that Chapters incorporated after 1994 must be incorporated as nonprofit entities. All Chapters are advised by the LAI Board of Governors to maintain their non-profit status with the IRS by direct action and independent of any actions by the International office. For more information