Elyse Smith Pohl

Legal Research and Policy Attorney

Elyse Smith Pohl is a legal research and policy attorney at the Institute for Justice. She brings legal analysis to the social science and policy research developed by IJ concerning school choice, private property rights, economic liberty, and free speech.

Prior to joining IJ, Elyse worked in private practice representing clients in both litigation and transactional matters. She holds a master’s degree in human rights law from the University of Navarra in Spain. She earned her law degree from Ave Maria School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2013, where she was named “Most Dedicated Editor” on Law Review. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs.

Elyse is a member of the Virginia and D.C. bars

Related Research & Reports


Immunity and Accountability


The largest ever study of qualified immunity cases, Unaccountable finds the doctrine shields a wider array of officials and conduct than commonly thought while unacceptably burdening victims of government abuse and failing at its goals.

Economic Liberty | Occupational Licensing

Too Many Licenses

In recent decades, states have enacted occupational licensing laws covering a growing number of jobs, and now more American workers than ever must get a license to work. But do we need these new licenses?…

Civil Forfeiture | Private Property

Policing for Profit

Nationwide, civil forfeiture is a massive threat to property and due process rights. So finds the third edition of Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture. The report presents the largest ever collection…

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