Institute for Justice

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

Across the country, countless individuals are denied their most essential constitutional rights: to earn an honest living, own and enjoy their property, speak freely, and give their children a good education—and to hold government officials accountable for violating those rights. The Constitution guarantees these vital freedoms to all Americans. But governments at all levels bend the rules to expand their power or advance illegitimate ends. This burden falls hardest on those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder—those who lack the 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 more through our class action suits. Each victory we win 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

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of cases launched to protect constitutional rights

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

IJ litigates to protect constitutional rights at state and federal courts at all levels—from district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Number of victories to protect constitutional rights achieved through litigation, legislative advocacy, and activism

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each victory represents a case won, a bill passed to expand freedom and justice, or an unjust government policy changed through activism.

Cumulative dollar amount of wrongfully seized assets returned to rightful owners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Across America, innocent people lose cash, cars, and even homes to civil forfeiture. IJ helps them fight back against wrongful government seizures and forfeitures of their hard-earned property.

Cumulative number of cases argued before the U.S. Supreme Court

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

IJ has argued cases at the nation’s highest court across all of our litigation areas. We have won seven cases and lost only two, with one still to be decided.

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 a champion for a free and just America. Our mission is to end widespread abuses of government power and secure the constitutional rights that allow all Americans to pursue their dreams.

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 training 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 200 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 about 150—including more than 60 attorneys—located in seven offices across the nation. With approximately 85 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 low-income 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 200 victories empowering hardworking Americans to earn an honest living, rolling back unjust regulations in more than 40 distinct occupations.
- Returned more than $18 million in wrongfully seized cash, cars, homes, and other property to innocent Americans.
- Won more than 45 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 24 educational choice programs that have awarded millions of 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 20 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 ensuring 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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Institute for Justice

Board of directors
as of 3/31/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

William Mellor

James Lintott

Freedom Management Group LLC

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