Harvard Law School, J.D., 2011

The University of Texas at Austin, B.B.A., B.A., 2007



Licensed in the District of Columbia

Renée D. Flaherty is a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. She joined IJ in September 2013 and litigates cases to protect economic liberty, property rights and educational choice.

Renée’s most recent economic liberty work challenges unnecessary educational requirements for ordinary occupations. In 2023, she secured a unanimous victory in the Supreme Court of Georgia in a case against Georgia’s first-of-its-kind licensing law that required college courses for lactation consultants. Renée also represented day-care providers in a challenge to Washington, D.C.’s regulations requiring a college degree to care for infants and toddlers.  

Renée has successfully represented families in defense of North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was upheld by the Supreme Court of North Carolina in July 2015. Her work has also resulted in a federal court of appeals victory for ridesharing drivers in Chicago, the return of thousands of dollars to victims of civil forfeiture, and changes to laws that allowed eyebrow threaders in Louisiana and casket sellers in Alabama to pursue their callings.

Renée’s views and opinions have been published in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, National Review, and other venues.

In 2019, Harvard Law School selected Renée as a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow to teach students about careers in public interest litigation.

Before joining IJ in 2013, Renée was an attorney at the Washington, D.C., office of Bingham McCutchen, LLP, where she focused on tax controversy matters. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2011. Renée also graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2007.

Renée's Cases

Educational Choice

Massachusetts School Choice

Massachusetts law makes a guarantee to students with special needs: No matter who you are, or where you go to school, you are entitled to special education and related services. It is part of the…

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Renée's Amicus Briefs

Renée's News, Articles & Publications

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