The Institute for Justice held its 17th annual Law Student Conference in July at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Thirty-four students from 24 law schools attended this year’s conference, including summer clerks from our headquarters and state chapter offices. They were also joined by an attorney from the Center for Justice—Sweden’s only public interest law organization, which is modeled after the Institute for Justice.
Over the course of the weekend, conference participants received a crash course in public interest law the “IJ Way.” Presentations from IJ attorneys, staff and clients, as well as Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute and law professors Randy Barnett of Georgetown University, Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine University and Todd Zywicki of George Mason University gave attendees an in-depth look at public interest law from an IJ perspective. Attendees participated in lectures on IJ’s four litigation pillars, media relations, outreach and strategic research, various constitutional law theories, and an IJ case workshop where they put their newly learned skills to use in a moot court and press conference. As in past conferences, the IJ client roundtable was a favorite among attendees and IJ staff, reminding us all of the human story at the heart of the cases we pursue.
IJ was honored to have Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit deliver the conference’s keynote address in which she shared her thoughts on the appropriate role of the judiciary.
After participating in the Institute for Justice’s law student conference, attendees become members of our Human Action Network, which comprises past IJ clerks and interns as well as alumni of IJ’s training conferences. HAN members assist IJ and further the cause of liberty throughout the country by identifying and researching potential cases, authoring amicus briefs and even litigating cases IJ is unable to take.
The Institute’s annual law student conference is often the first introduction for law students to the “IJ Way” of public interest law and the beginning of a lifelong relationship as supporters of the Institute for Justice.
Krissy Keys is the Institute’s special projects manager.