Fall 2021 Legal Intensive

November 6th, 2021

The Premier One-Day Public Interest Law Program
Location: The David Rubenstein Forum at The University of Chicago

We are thrilled to announce that IJ will host our fourth Legal Intensive in person on November 6th, 2021, in Chicago, Illinois!

For over 30 years, IJ has hosted an annual law student conference with law students from across the country near our headquarters office in Arlington, Virginia. We are excited to continue to offer an opportunity for students to participate in an immersive and practical day of learning right in their own backyards. Our Legal Intensives are intended to supplement the legal theory and skills that students learn in the classroom. The experts at IJ will teach attendees about public interest law and how to take what students have learned so far in law school and put it into action.

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What to Expect

  • IJ attorneys will guide you through informative and interactive sessions on public interest law vs. private practice, litigation strategies, how to develop a case from beginning to end, and more.
  • Walk away with behind-the-scenes insight on how to advance a case all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and what steps to take when you see something in the headlines that you want to change through litigation.
  • Hear directly from IJ clients and see the real impact public interest litigation has on Americans fighting against government abuse.
  • Learn how to advance important ideas and change the law – regardless of your chosen career.
  • We’re thrilled to be able to offer this event in person. We are closely monitoring local conditions and will follow CDC guidelines. If needed, we will convert this to a virtual event and notify all attendees.

Are you interested in attending but you don’t live in the Chicago area?

This Legal Intensive is geared toward students in the Midwest region, but we know not everyone will be a walk or an El ride away from the David Rubenstein Forum. So, we are pleased to cover travel expenses. Come spend your Saturday with us.

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Register Below

Meet Our Speakers

Justin Pearson – Attorney Diana Simpson – Attorney Andrew Wimer – Director of Media Relations


Friday Evening – November 5th, 2021

5:00 – 7:00 pm        Welcome Reception
Students are invited to join us for a casual cocktail reception. Meet your fellow attendees and our IJ speakers.
9:00 – 9:30 am         Speaker Introductions
This Intensive is going to have a lot of time for discussion and collaboration, so we’ll start off with some introductions and get to know each other.
9:30 – 10:00 am       Learning to Swim in the Deep End: Challenges and Opportunities for a Young IJ Lawyer
To kick off the day, you will hear from IJ attorneys Justin Pearson and Diana Simpson. We’ll have a discussion about the differences between IJ’s public interest work and private practice with a unique focus on the opportunities and challenges a young public-interest litigator can expect and how rewarding this work can be. 10:00 – 11:00 am     IJ Principles and Pillars (Part 1 – Educational Choice & Free Speech)
In this session, you will learn about IJ’s primary areas of litigation and how our public interest strategy has changed the law in important areas, beginning with educational choice and free speech.

11:00 – 11:10 am     Break 11:10 – 12:30 pm     IJ Principles and Pillars (Part 2 – Economic Liberty & Property Rights)
We’ll continue the pillar discussion with two more – economic liberty and property rights – including some local, Chicago-area cases. 12:30 – 1:30 pm       Lunch
Do you have any burning questions about IJ or constitutional legal issues? Ask away! Justin and Diana are here to share their war stories and insights as we sit for a casual lunch together. 1:30 – 2:00 pm         Making Your Case in the Court of Public Opinion
Director of Media Relations Andrew Wimer will share how we litigate cases in the court of public opinion. 2:00 – 3:30 pm         Advancing a Legal Strategy in the Real World
Now that you have the foundation down, we will teach you what it takes to change the law – from putting together the first case to strategically developing a string of cases to create a circuit split and hopefully convince the Supreme Court to accept review. You will learn how to find cases and clients, advance cutting-edge legal doctrines, and how-whether or not we win in court-we can achieve real-world results that help everyday Americans enjoy more freedom.

3:30 – 3:40 pm         Break
3:40 – 4:40 pm         Your Turn: Crafting an IJ Case in Real-Time
In this session, you will take what you learned and apply it to a potential IJ case. Justin and Diana will lead an IJ “litigation lunch” style discussion just like the ones IJ attorneys have each month to vet potential cases. We will provide you with a memo to review a week prior to the event which will lay out the facts of the case.

4:40 – 5:10 pm         Your Turn: Crafting a Media Strategy
In this session, you will work with other students to craft a media strategy for the case we discussed in the earlier session. 5:10 – 5:15 pm          Break

5:15 – 6:15 pm         Client Panel
To wrap up the day, we’ll hear directly from IJ clients. LI Sept 2021 ad insta FINAL