Law Student Conference Inspires & Informs

Law Student Conference Inspires & Informs

By Krissy Keys

This summer, the Institute for Justice continued its work to train the next generation of advocates for freedom.


In July, IJ welcomed 30 law students representing 19 law schools at its 18th annual Law Student Conference, held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Joining IJ summer clerks and interns from our headquarters and state chapters were new Institute for Justice attorneys and staff, and an attorney from Sweden’s Centrum för Rättvisa—Sweden’s first public interest law firm, which was modeled on the Institute for Justice.
Conference attendees received intensive instruction in public interest law done The IJ Way through presentations from IJ attorneys, staff and clients.  Among the presentations were those by law professors Randy Barnett (Georgetown University Law School), Doug Kmiec (Pepperdine University Law School) and Todd Zywicki (George Mason University Law School), who discussed cutting-edge constitutional law and legal theories rarely examined in most law schools today.  The Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon provided attendees with an overview of the many career options that await them after law school graduation.
IJ clients Mercedes Clemens, from our Maryland horse massage case, and Mike Tait, from our Philadelphia tour guides case, gave attendees an insider’s view of the Institute for Justice’s cases during the always popular client roundtable.  Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett closed the conference with an inspiring keynote address.

  Our 2009 headquarters summer clerks and interns provided excellent legal research for IJ.  They are, from left to right, Tony Henke, University of Chicago Law School; Bridget McNamee, Duke University School of Law; Joel Stonedale, University of Chicago Law School; Karynna Asao, Claremont McKenna College; Jay Schweikert, Harvard Law School; Patrick Byrne, U.C. Hastings College of Law; Ashley Daly, University of Michigan Law School; Ben Massey, Princeton University; Melissa-Victoria King, Columbia Law School;  Ben Burningham, Southern Virginia University; Renée Flaherty, Harvard Law School; Sharon Yecies, University of Chicago Law School; Caleb Kramer, Grove City College; Anne-Marie Dao, U.C. Davis Law School; Bennett Rawicki, University of Dallas; Erin Wilson, College of William & Mary.
Participants in IJ’s law student conference become members of the Institute’s Human Action Network, which in part is comprised of past IJ clerks, interns and IJ conference alumni.  HAN members often assist IJ with researching potential cases, authoring amicus briefs, serving as local counsel and litigating cases IJ is unable to litigate.
Summer by summer, IJ works to deepen the talent pool of skilled advocates for individual rights.  Our law student conference shows aspiring law students how they can play a meaningful part in advancing the cause of liberty.






Krissy Keys is IJ's special projects manager.



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