Changing the World One Student at a Time

 

Changing the World One Student at a Time

IJ President Chip Mellor instructs dozens of law students on what it takes to succeed in public interest law.

 

Senior Attorney Steve Simpson shares his insights into the First Amendment with law students.

 

IJ clients Juanita Swedenburg and Roberta Kitchen share their views of public interest law from a client’s perspective.

Boasting a new venue and a new agenda, the Institute for Justice’s 14th Annual Law Student Conference inspired and trained 40 new public interest law advocates for freedom.

Held at the Georgetown University Law Center in downtown D.C., the conference featured constitutional law scholars Randy Barnett, Doug Kmiec, Roger Pilon, and G. Marcus Cole, keynote speaker Judge Morris S. Arnold of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and IJ attorneys and clients.

Students learned about topics rarely, if ever, covered in law school: public interest law, libertarian constitutional philosophy, media relations, outreach, as well as the Institute for Justice’s four pillars—school choice, economic liberty, property rights and the First Amendment. They also participated in media and legal moot courts to hone their advocacy skills. But, perhaps the most moving new session of all came from IJ’s clients. New London homeowner Mike Cristofaro, Virginia vintner Juanita Swedenburg and Cleveland school choice mom Roberta Kitchen shared their stories of IJ’s Supreme Court battles to vindicate their rights. The session encapsulated public interest practice, strategy and tactics through IJ’s focus: the human experience.

After attending IJ’s law student conference, students become part of IJ’s Human Action Network—a group of pro bono activists and attorneys committed to defending freedom through their day-to-day jobs or through pro bono work. HAN members help with IJ cases, research and media efforts. The 2005 class of HAN members is already engaged and assisting with Institute for Justice projects, and we look forward to a long, productive relationship with all the students from this year’s conference.

 

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