The Federalist Society of Washington & Lee Law:
Advancing the Rule of Law
Q. What is the Federalist Society?
A. It is an organization of 25,000 lawyers, law students, scholars, and other individuals who believe and trust that individual citizens can make the best choices for themselves and society. It was founded in 1982 by a group of law students interested in making sure that the principles of limited government embodied in our Constitution receive a fair hearing. Click HERE for a more detailed background.
Q. How does the Federalist Society carry out its mission?
A. The Society's main purpose is to sponsor fair, serious, and open debate about the need to enhance individual freedom and the role of the courts in saying what the law is rather than what they wish it to be. We believe debate is the best way to ensure that legal principles that have not been the subject of sufficient attention for the past several decades receive a fair hearing.
Q. Does the Federalist Society take positions on legal or policy issues or engage in other forms of political advocacy?
A. No. The Society is about ideas. We do not lobby for legislation, take policy positions, or sponsor or endorse nominees and candidates for public service. While overall the Society believes in limited government, its members are diverse and often hold conflicting views on a broad range of issues such as tort reform, privacy rights, and criminal justice.
Q. Who joins the Federalist Society?
A. Many prominent judges, professors, lawyers, law students, and scholars in America are members or involved with our work. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to join the Society, and the organization often attracts people who share a desire for public service.
Q. Who can attend Federalist Society meetings?
A. Everyone is welcome to the programs of our law school chapters, metropolitan lawyers chapters, and nationwide practice groups. The several hundred events sponsored each year by the Federalist Society are publicly advertised and are open to the press and the general public. A number of our events are on television or are web cast.
Q. Who are some of the Federalist Society's participants and speakers?
A. The Society has a strong reputation for hosting speakers on all sides of the ideological spectrum. A number of the Society's most frequent and prominent speakers - from the Left as well as the Right - attest to the fact that the Society has contributed a great deal to free speech, free debate, and the public understanding of the Constitution.
Q. Who are some of the Federalist Society's financial supporters?
A. 90% of the funding comes from individuals and foundations; the other 10% comes from corporations. The Society does not take money from any political party or group affiliated with a political party or from the federal government.
Please direct website questions to Tiffany Caterina.