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The Federalist Society at William & Mary School of Law

The Federalist Society Mission Statement


The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies seeks to promote an awareness and application of the following principles: that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is the duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

The legal profession is currently dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. In 1982, a group of students at Yale Law School founded the Federalist Society to facilitate the consideration of libertarian and conservative alternatives to this legal orthodoxy. By providing a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy, the Society has redefined the terms of legal debate.

The Student Division of the Federalist Society is represented by chapters at 80% of ABA-accredited law schools. The William & Mary chapter holds several events each semester featuring prominent legal scholars from across the nation.  It also holds social events, sponsors a trip to the annual Student Symposium each February, and provides resources on employment opportunities. All law students who are interested in legal debate are encouraged to join; the Society is non-partisan, and libertarian or conservative viewpoints are not required.