Clark Neily joined the Institute for Justice as a senior attorney in 2000. He litigates economic liberty, property rights, school choice, First Amendment, and other constitutional cases in both federal and state courts.
He served as counsel in a successful challenge to Nevada’s monopolistic limousine licensing practices, which effectively prevented small -business-persons from operating their own limousine services in the Las Vegas area. He was the lead attorney in the Institute’s successful defense of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy against a lawsuit by the Michigan Education Association challenging the Center’s right to quote the MEA’s president in fundraising literature, and he led IJ’s opposition to a nationwide effort to cartelize the interior design industry through anti-competitive occupational licensing requirements. Clark is also a member of the Institute’s school choice team. Besides representing parents and children in defense of Florida’s Opportunity Scholarship Program and school choice programs in Arizona, Maine, Milwaukee, and elsewhere, he has participated in many debates in support of school choice.
Clark helped create the Institute’s Center for Judicial Engagement, which was designed to challenge the unconstitutional expansion of government by articulating a principled vision of judicial review, educating the public about the importance of a properly engaged judiciary, and advocating the Constitution as a charter of liberty and a bulwark against the illegitimate assumption of government power. Clark has written a book about judicial engagement, titled Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government.
In his private capacity, Clark served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in District of Columbia v. Heller, the historic case in which the Supreme Court announced for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun for self-defense.
Before joining the Institute for Justice, Clark spent four years as a litigator at the Dallas-based firm Thompson & Knight, where he worked on a wide variety of matters including professional malpractice, First Amendment and media law, complex commercial cases, and intellectual property litigation. Clark received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas, where he was Chief Articles Editor of the Texas Law Review. After law school, he clerked for Judge Royce Lamberth on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.