Institute for Justice

National Law Firm for Liberty

Arlington, VA   |  www.ij.org

Mission

Through strategic litigation, training, communication, and outreach, the Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. IJ litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech, and other vital individual liberties and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government. In addition, IJ trains law students, lawyers, and activists in the tactics of public interest litigation. Through these activities, IJ illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government.

Ruling year info

1992

President and General Counsel

Mr. Scott G. Bullock

Main address

901 North Glebe Road Suite 900

Arlington, VA 22203 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1744337

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The American Dream is in jeopardy. Across the country, countless individuals are denied their most essential constitutional rights: to earn an honest living, keep their property, speak freely, and direct the education of their children. The Constitution guarantees these vital freedoms to all Americans. But government overreach and judicial neglect have eroded its safeguards. This burden falls hardest on those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder—those who do not have the political clout or financial means to fight back. The Institute for Justice is the legal champion of people who seek the freedom to pursue their dreams but find government standing in the way. Since our founding, we’ve litigated more than 300 cases and directly represented more than 1,000 clients, in addition to thousands of others through our strategic class action suits. Each victory we win on their behalf puts an end to government abuse and restores constitutional protections for the rights of all Americans.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Civil Liberties Law

Strategic litigation; award-winning media relations; grassroots mobilization and outreach; applied social science research; and training programs for law students, lawyers, and policy activists.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Institute for Justice is the National Law Firm for Liberty. Our mission is to restore constitutional limits on government power in four areas that form the foundation of the American Dream: economic liberty, free speech, property rights, and educational choice.

Through strategic public interest litigation, IJ vindicates our clients’ rights while establishing enduring legal protection for countless others like them. With each victory, IJ steadily reshapes the legal landscape to favor individual freedom over government power.

IJ’s approach to public interest law is multifaceted—and uniquely effective.

We litigate cutting-edge constitutional cases in state and federal courts to vindicate the rights of Americans who would otherwise have no advocate in the face of government abuse. Each case we take—free of charge—is strategically chosen to advance IJ’s mission and to tangibly impact the lives of countless others like our clients.

IJ also champions our issues in the court of public opinion. By combining our litigation efforts with award-winning communications, legislative advocacy, grassroots activism, and original social science research, we elevate our clients and the principles they stand for to national prominence.

Using this powerful approach, IJ wins nearly three out of every four cases we file through litigation or legislative reform. We leverage and build on these victories through grassroots trainings and community engagement, equipping ordinary citizens with the tools, strategies, and support to stand up for their rights.
Our efforts have driven signature IJ issues—including eminent domain abuse, civil forfeiture, and occupational licensing laws—from obscurity to the center of public debate and generated sweeping, real-world reforms in each area of our mission.

With three decades of experience litigating civil rights lawsuits, IJ is the acknowledged expert in each area of our mission. Our track record of success includes more than 300 cases representing more than 1,000 clients, seven U.S. Supreme Court victories, more than 150 legislative reforms, and a success rate of nearly 75% in each case we file.

IJ is well-positioned to build on this success going forward. We have a staff of 135—including 58 attorneys—located in seven offices across the nation. With about 70 cases in active litigation across dozens of states at any one time, we are putting these capabilities to maximum use in our fight for liberty.

IJ also trains dozens of law students each year to practice effective public interest law, and operates the nation’s only law school clinic with a singular focus on helping inner-city entrepreneurs overcome government red tape and get into business.

In every area of IJ’s work, the law is far more favorable to individual liberty today than when we first opened our doors in 1991. Through our incremental, strategic approach, IJ has:

- Won more than 150 victories empowering hardworking Americans to earn an honest living.
- Returned more than $17 million in wrongfully seized cash, cars, homes, and other property to innocent Americans.
- Won more than 40 victories allowing our clients to share their political opinions, promote their businesses, or earn a living by speaking freely to others.
- Saved more than 20,000 homes and businesses from the government’s wrecking ball.
- Successfully defended 22 educational choice programs that have awarded millions of total scholarships to children seeking a better education.

We accomplished all of this while adhering to the highest standards of financial transparency and accountability, a commitment that has earned us Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for 18 consecutive years.

Each victory we win is the launching pad for increasingly ambitious efforts that push IJ’s mission forward and secure the rights of ever more Americans. Case by case, IJ will continue to persuade audiences ranging from judges to the general public that constitutional limits on government power are vital to preserving America’s future as a land of opportunity and prosperity.

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Institute for Justice

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

William Mellor

James Lintott

Freedom Management Group LLC

Robert Levy

Cato Institute

Arthur Dantchik

Susquehanna Investment Group

Robert Gelfond

MagiQ Technologies, Inc.

William Mellor

Institute for Justice

Stephen Modzelewski

Maple Engine L.L.C.

Ken Levy

Community Volunteer

Mary Stiefel

Community Volunteer

Scott Bullock

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/26/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data