15 Years of Training Students in the IJ Way
By Shaka Mitchell
IJ President and General Counsel Chip Mellor explains IJ’s public interest litigation tactics and strategies.
This July marked the 15th year of the Institute for Justice’s annual Law Student Conference. The three-day symposium provides highly motivated law students from around the country the opportunity to learn about public interest law the “IJ Way.”
The 2006 class of students came from 27 law schools and two foreign countries, but the seminars were not exclusively attended by students. The conference is a great time for new and . . . shall we say . . . “established” IJ staff members to learn directly from several national legal experts brought in to teach the students. This year’s instructors included law professors Randy Barnett, Doug Kmiec and Todd Zywicki; the Cato Institute’s Dr. Roger Pilon; and attorney (and IJ Law Student Conference alumnus) James Ho. Each presented students and IJ-ers alike with new ways to think about public interest law.
The Honorable Douglas Ginsburg, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, gave Saturday night’s keynote address and challenged students to think about the interplay between economics and the law.
At the close of the weekend, each student became a member of IJ’s Human Action Network—our group of IJ-trained attorneys who help us fight for freedom nationwide at the grassroots level. And, if previous years are an indication, many will go on to distinguished clerkships, positions in academia and the private bar, seats on the bench and even careers in public interest law.
We are proud to be a part of that development and eagerly anticipate next year’s conference.
Shaka Mitchell is IJ’s outreach coordinator.