Participants enjoyed a three-day crash course in public interest law “The IJ Way.” Presentations from law professors Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine University and Todd Zywicki of George Mason University, Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute, attorney Robert Kry (a past IJ and U.S. Supreme Court clerk and law student conference alumnus), IJ attorneys, staff and clients gave attendees a exciting look at public interest law from a free market perspective. Attendees participated in lectures on IJ’s four litigation pillars (property rights, economic liberty, school choice and free speech), media and outreach tactics, cutting-edge constitutional theories, legal policy, entrepreneurship and public choice theory. They also participated in a workshop putting what they learned to use. The IJ client roundtable, a favorite among attendees, reminded us of the importance of putting a human face on each case.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Markman delivered Saturday night’s keynote address, discussing the proper role of the judiciary in shaping legal policy nationwide.
After the weekend-long public interest law boot camp, the law students became members of our Human Action Network. HAN is a network comprised of past IJ clerks and interns and alumni of our various training conferences, who volunteer with IJ to help further the cause of liberty throughout the country. Members of HAN support IJ by identifying and researching potential cases, serving as local counsel, authoring amicus briefs and even litigating cases. As in years past, we expect to see many of the new HAN members take prestigious clerkships with state and federal courts. Many HAN members often go on to have influential careers in public interest law, private practice or academia.
IJ’s annual law student conference is an important first step in many of the attendees’ involvement in public interest law and often lays the foundation for a career-long relationship with the Institute for Justice and our continued fight for freedom.