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Training—and Growing—the Next Generation of Litigators for Liberty

As IJ tackles ever larger and more complex legal issues, IJ itself must also grow. To successfully recruit attorneys who are both intellectually skilled and passionate about IJ’s mission, we must continually enlarge our talent pipeline. One new way IJ is finding the best and brightest legal minds is by expanding our law student training programs.

Introducing the next generation of lawyers to public interest litigation and the way it can advance individual liberty, limited government, and free markets has long been part of IJ’s mission. IJ trains law students through programs such as our Dave Kennedy Fellowships for summer law clerks and the Law Student Conference we hold at IJ headquarters each summer. Last year, we set out to increase our reach to talented individuals.

Enter IJ’s Legal Intensive Program. Through Legal Intensives designed to reach students at the nation’s best law schools, we are bringing the proven content of our Law Student Conference and clerkship programs directly to top talent across the country. By providing content tailored to each Intensive’s location and featuring up-to-the-minute legal developments, we can attract students we might otherwise never reach.

At the first Legal Intensive, held in Los Angeles this past November, select law students from across California joined IJ staff and clients at the University of California, Los Angeles, for a day of theoretical and practical sessions, networking opportunities, and discussions about how to make pro bono or public interest work count in their careers. Through two pilot Intensives in the past six months, we have already doubled the number of students we’ve reached. With a third Legal Intensive in the works, we are poised to grow this number still further.

These efforts will ensure that IJ is engaging with the most talented and motivated students, starting many of them on a track to later become IJ clerks, fellows, or attorneys. Whether these students go on to join IJ full time, pursue judicial clerkships, work for litigation centers in other free-market groups, or enter private practice, IJ is investing in a resource that will pay dividends for the broader liberty movement for many years to come.

Lainey Carlton is IJ’s student training manager and recruiter.

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