The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is an organization of law students, lawyers, and others interested in the law dedicated to advancing an understanding of the principles underlying American law and furthering their application. It was founded in 1982 by Spencer Abraham, Steven Calabresi, David McIntosh, and Lee Liberman Otis while they were law students at Harvard, Yale, andThe University of Chicago. Under the energetic, competent leadership of Eugene Meyer and Leonard Leo, the Society has since expanded into a nationally prominent institution representing more than 40,000 law students, attorneys, academics, public-policy practitioners, and jurists.
With active chapters at each of the more than 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools and in 70 major cities across the nation, the Federalist Society organizes activities that foster appreciation for limited, constitutional government, property rights and markets, federalism, and the rule of law in protecting individual freedom. It also identifies and mentors candidates for judgeships, judicial clerkships, and government posts who respect the judiciary’s duty to interpret the law as it is.
The Society’s principal means of influence is balanced and rigorous debate. It thus provides a forum for the strongest voices from opposing viewpoints to interact with its members. It also fosters serious legal scholarship, conducts educational programs, and offers opportunity for effective participation in the public-policy process.
Abraham is chairman and chief executive officer of the The Abraham Group and a former U.S. Senator from Michigan. He was U.S. Secretary of Energy in the second Bush administration. Calabresi is the George C. Dix Professor of Law atNorthwestern University and chairman of the Federalist Society’s board of directors. He served in the Reagan and first Bush administrations. McIntosh is a partner in the global law firm of Mayer Brown and a former U.S. Representative from Indiana. He, too, served in the Reagan and first Bush administrations. Otis is senior vice president of the Federalist Society and director of its faculty division. She served in the first Bush administration.
Meyer is president of the Society. Leo is its executive vice president.