By Melissa LoPresti
In July, 54 students and about two dozen IJ attorneys and staff gathered near our headquarters for IJ’s annual law student conference. The event—dubbed the “Public Interest Boot Camp” because of its increasingly intensive curriculum—is the cornerstone event of our year-round student outreach.
We were thrilled to invite, for the first time, an elite group of political science and economics graduate students to lend their unique perspective to the weekend’s discussions. As we expand our strategic research department internally, we are likewise building a network of scholars prepared and excited to contribute their expertise to cutting-edge issues like forfeiture and occupational licensing. The boot camp is a valuable training ground for this work.
IJ attorneys and staff presented not only prepared material but also incorporated up-to-the-moment case updates, like the preliminary victory in our Arizona animal massage case, which is being litigated by IJ Attorney Diana Simpson, a 2010 conference attendee! We were also grateful to have Georgetown Law School’s Randy Barnett, the Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon, George Mason University’s Todd Zywicki, and the University of Rochester’s David Primo join us for lectures as well as meals and events. The keynote address was given by Judge Danny Boggs of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And, as always, one of the favorite sessions was the client panel, this year featuring Mike Cristofaro (Kelo v. City of New London), Essence Farmer (Arizona braiding) and Monica Poindexter (Indiana school choice).
Next year’s “Public Interest Boot Camp” will be held July 17-19, 2015. More information is at www.ij.org/students.
Melissa LoPresti is IJ’s Management and Litigation Assistant.