IJ’s Texas office focuses on ending widespread abuses of government power and securing the constitutional rights that allow all Americans to pursue their dreams. Since opening its doors in 2008 the Texas office advances IJ’s mission by litigating constitutional cases under the Texas Constitution and U.S. Constitution. IJ’s Texas-based attorneys and staff litigate cases in state and federal courts around the country and across Texas. But success in court is not enough―IJ’s work in Texas also includes legislative advocacy at the Texas Legislature and city halls, grassroots activism, original research, and award-winning communications.
Texas is an important battleground in IJ’s fight to secure justice and protect individual rights. In the Texas Supreme court, IJ secured a landmark victory in Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation―persuading the Court to reject the federal test in economic liberty cases and establish a stronger, independent test under the Texas Constitution (Article I, Section 19). In Patel, a group of eyebrow threaders and business owners fought back after they were put out of work when the state began enforcing a cosmetology statute against them that neither taught nor tested threading.
In the United States Supreme Court, two of IJ’s Texas cases hit the docket during the 2023–24 term. In DeVillier v. Texas, IJ argues that the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause is self-executing and requires just compensation when the government takes property. In Gonzalez v. Trevino, IJ argues that government officials engaging in First Amendment retaliation cannot escape accountability using qualified immunity.
At the heart of IJ’s cases are clients. Texans team up with IJ to vindicate their rights in a way that ensures justice for all. IJ has represented a hair braider trying to teach her craft in Brantley v. Kuntz, an author facing censorship of her book on eminent domain abuse in Texas, food truck entrepreneurs restricted from selling food for a living in El Paso, San Antonio, and South Padre Island, Texas doctors trying to help patients, a veterinarian using the internet to give advice to pet owners, civil forfeiture victims that lost their life savings despite not being arrested, a citizen journalist arrested for filming a police encounter, a mechanic prohibited from opening a mechanic’s shop, a truck owner fighting against stop-first, justify-later policing during traffic stops, craft brewers trying to grow their business, computer repair technicians, and many more.
Finally, IJ takes pride in training future attorneys and advocates. To see if there are any IJ events near you or if you would to invite an IJ attorney to speak at your event, please visit our Events page. If you are a law student, judicial clerk, or lawyer interested in IJ, please see our student programs, attorney pathways, and IJ’s job postings.
Directions to IJ-Texas Office
The Institute for Justice Texas office is located on the 9th Floor of the 816 Congress building at the corner of 9th Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. Please park in the 816 Congress parking garage (the entrance to the garage is on 9th street).
816 Congress Ave, Suite 970
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 480-5936
Fax: (512) 480-5937
Law Student Clerkships
To apply for semester clerkships in our Texas office, please submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample via email to [email protected] . If you are interested in applying for a summer clerkship please visit our Students page.
Guest Speaker Information
If you would like to invite an Institute for Justice attorney to a debate or to speak to your group. please email [email protected]. To see if there are any events near you, go to our Speakers & Events page.
Texas woman fights back after local officials in Castle Hills have her arrested and jailed for criticizing city government
After she won her election to city council, Sylvia Gonzalez immediately began getting harassed by city officials whom she had criticized in the past. It got so bad she was even arrested and thrown in…
Eyebrow threading is a booming industry in Texas. But state bureaucrats are making it difficult for individuals to continue practicing this ancient art.
Arrested and Prosecuted for his Reporting, Citizen Journalist Defends His First Amendment Rights with Federal Lawsuit
Justin Pulliam, a citizen journalist in Texas, was arrested and prosecuted for his reporting on the activities of the Fort Bend County Sheriff. He is defending his First Amendment rights with a federal lawsuit.
Ron Hines is a veterinarian who offers advice online to customers all over the country, but Texas said his speech was illegal. Now his case can move ahead on First Amendment grounds.
Should African hair braiders have to build an entire barber college and become barbering instructors just to teach hair braiding? Texas officials think so.
Texas tried to force natural hair braiding schools to convert into fully-equipped barber colleges—solely to teach hair braiding—even though braiders aren’t barbers.