The Wall Street Journal could have been commenting on any of our core litigation areas when it wrote, “In courtrooms across the country, school choice programs are under assault—a single law firm, the Institute for Justice, has found itself defending parents in choice cases before five different state supreme courts.”
The Institute for Justice is often the only law firm in the country ready, willing and able to defend individuals and their rights against government abuses. That’s what makes the investment of people across the nation so important to our continued success. We work hard to leverage every dollar into our strategic public interest litigation program. Last year, IJ spent more than $14 million defending individual rights, and as always, we kept administrative and fundraising expenses down, spending more than 82 cents of every dollar directly on our litigation programs.
The stakes are tremendous. Government at every level works to restrict individual liberty and to break the will (and the wallet) of innocent, hard-working individuals seeking nothing more than the opportunity to earn their share of the American Dream.
With government’s virtually bottomless coffers, IJ must have the financial resilience to withstand intensive, multi-front assaults by opponents intent on preserving their power and the status quo. In addition to helping us meet the present and future obligations of existing litigation, these resources give us the ability to deliver intense legal firepower on a moment’s notice.
We have built a remarkable organization since we opened our doors in 1991, and last year was our most successful yet. Big courtroom victories for economic liberty, school choice, free speech and private property rights were complemented by the unprecedented work of IJ’s Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School, which helps inner-city entrepreneurs navigate regulatory red tape. With such an aggressive and strategic approach, it’s no surprise that it was a successful financial year, too. Our donors give us the flexibility to take on the vast array of cases we now litigate across the country and the ability to seize and capitalize on unanticipated opportunities—a hallmark of the Institute for Justice approach. Our supporters can continue to expect such a return on their investment in IJ.
But we view last year as prologue. The coming one will be even better. All it takes, and what we feel this brief financial snapshot profiles, is a clear mission, passionately and responsibly executed.