Building Warriors for Liberty

October 1, 2013

In July, 43 law students from across the country gathered together in downtown D.C. for IJ’s 22nd annual law student conference. Our public interest boot camp included constitutional warriors from 34 different law schools and an attorney from Sweden’s Centrum for Rättvisa, a European public interest law firm modeled on IJ.

Attendees and IJ staffers spent the weekend immersed in public interest law.

In addition to our traditional sessions about IJ pillars, litigation strategies and business areas, we also debuted two new sessions. Senior Attorney Jeff Rowes gave a rousing talk about the importance of being entrepreneurial in litigating (and winning!) IJ cases. And Senior Attorneys Scott Bullock and Clark Neily joined Attorney Wesley Hottot to answer questions as a panel about how they came to work at IJ and what it’s like to sue the government. The Saturday night keynote address was delivered by Chief Judge Frank Shepherd from the Florida Third District Court of Appeal. We were delighted that the judge and his family were able to join us, and the students appreciated the opportunity learn about his experiences and speak to him directly.

Georgetown University Law Center Professor Randy Barnett, the Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon and George Mason University Professor Todd Zywicki also gave well-received talks on broader theoretical and philosophical issues.

After a jam-packed two days, the weekend ended on a high note with our famous client roundtable. Every year the students talk about how inspirational it is to hear directly from our clients, and this year was no different. We were grateful that Russ Caswell, Abbot Justin Brown and Andrea Weck-Robertson joined us to share their stories.

Information and applications for next summer’s conference will be available at beginning in January.

Melissa LoPresti is the Institute’s management and litigation assistant.

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