Learning About Natural Rights and Limited Government At IJ’s 19th Annual Law Student Conference

October 3, 2010

The Institute for Justice held its 19th annual Law Student Conference in July at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Thirty-six law students, including IJ summer law clerks, attended this year’s conference representing 23 schools. Joining them were IJ’s summer undergraduate interns and new Institute for Justice staff.

Attendees were given a weekend-long crash course in public interest law “The IJ Way.” Sessions taught by IJ attorneys and staff covered the importance of public interest law, how to litigate a public interest lawsuit, successfully managing nationwide public interest campaigns and the importance activism and media play in litigating public interest cases. Three of IJ’s clients participated in the always-popular client panel, which put a human face on the cases that attendees learned about throughout the weekend. Law professors Randy Barnett of Georgetown University Law Center and Todd Zywicki of George Mason University Law School, shared their unique academic insights into IJ’s kind of public interest law—insights and lessons that remain rare in today’s law school classrooms. And the Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon provided attendees an array of career ideas and opportunities that await them after they have completed law school.

Judge Timothy Tymkovich of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, gave this year’s keynote address. Judge Tymkovich gave an inspiring speech on the effectiveness of public interest law.

IJ’s Law Student Conference remains a vital part of the Institute for Justice’s effort to advance its mission with the next generation of attorneys. These attendees become members of IJ’s Attorney Human Action Network (HAN) and later often assist IJ with pro bono projects, case litigation and even become IJ attorneys and executive directors. There are now 790 HAN members nationwide. Many of IJ’s HAN members attribute their passion for public interest law to their participation in IJ’s annual conference.

Krissy Keys is the Institute’s special projects manager.

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