Institute Profile: Who We Are

Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As our nation’s only libertarian public interest law firm, we engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government–like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech. As Wired magazine said, the Institute for Justice “helps individuals subject to wacky government regulations.”

Simply put, we challenge the government when it stands in the way of people trying to earn an honest living, when it unconstitutionally takes away individuals’ property, when bureaucrats instead of parents dictate the education of children, and when government stifles speech. We seek a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society.

We have accomplished a great deal since our founding in 1991. You may have seen our clients, cases and attorneys featured frequently in the national media, such as ABC News 20/20 or the CBS News program 60 Minutes. As Investor’s Business Daily observed, “The Institute for Justice’s influence is being felt across the nation.”

The Institute for Justice is a 501(c)(3) organization; contributions are tax-deductible.

Institute Mission:

Through a unique and strategic combination of litigation, legal counsel, training, research, communications 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. IJ provides legal counsel to inner-city entrepreneurs, because their freedom to shape their own businesses directly affects their freedom to shape their own lives and communities. In addition, IJ trains law students, lawyers, policy activists and grassroots organizers in the tactics of public interest litigation and advocacy for liberty. Through these activities, IJ challenges the ideology of the welfare state and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government.

More About IJ:

The Quest For Justicethe Inaugural Speech Launching the Institute for Justice

The IJ WayWhile so many factors contribute to our success—the talents of the people involved, the commitment of our donors, and the pursuit of a strategic litigation plan—nothing is more central to our success than the culture of IJ, which determines the way we do business.

We change the world, and have fun doing it!

One of the qualities that makes the Institute for Justice unique is our sense of humor. Although we deal with very serious constitutional issues, we try to infuse into our work and our workplace a great joy for what it is we do. Our motto is, “We change the world, and have fun doing it.” Here are some videos we hope convey that spirit.

Video – Economic Liberty Commercial

Video – Free Speech Commercial

Video – Property Rights Commercial

Join the Susette Kelo Liberty Club

Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that my little pink cottage in New London, Connecticut, could be handed over to a private developer.

It was just one of 10,000 instances of eminent domain abuse to occur in the United States over a 5-year period.

Just one instance—yet a tipping point that sparked a national revolution. 

10,000 Advocates

On this, the third anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s dreadful decision, I’m asking for 10,000 people to join me in donating to the non-profit legal foundation that stood by me all the way to the Supreme Court, and continues to stand by heroic individuals fighting to keep the homes that are rightfully theirs. 

Eminent domain abuse continues coast-to-coast!  Despite tremendous gains in state courts and state legislatures since the Supreme Court’s ruling, eminent domain abuse is still rampant.  Click on the links below to read more.

Fund the Fight Against Eminent Domain Abuse

By donating to the Institute for Justice on the anniversary of the ruling—June 23, 2008—you will become a Founding Member of the Susette Kelo Liberty Club. 

Every single dollar raised during this special event will be used to fight eminent domain abuse across the nation. 

And while all donations are appreciated, I hope you’ll consider giving your most generous gift of $25, $50, $100, or more.   Even a $5 contribution will send a message to those in power that our homes are important to use and must be protected.

With your help, the Institute for Justice will continue to keep tax-hungry politicians and land-hungry developers from taking our private property.

Subscribe now and spread the word to your family and friend to donate to IJ on June 23rd.

10,000 people … with 10,000 reasons to donate!

Yours in Freedom,
Susette Kelo

More About Eminent Domain

Susette Kelo was lead plaintiff in the landmark 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled private property can be seized and handed over to politically connect private developers so long as the government treasury may benefit.

The Institute for Justice is the nation’s leading legal advocate for property rights.

More on Susette Kelo and the Institute for Justice’s fight against eminent domain abuse.


Watch Randy Bailey’s story to see how IJ and Randy fought against the government’s abuse of eminent domain and won.

Learn about the Institute for Justice’s current case in National City, Calif.

More on the Institute for Justice litigation in Long Branch, N.J.

IJ’s Castle Coalition uses activism to defeat eminent domain abuse

All donations to the Institute for Justice are tax-deductible.

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