Institute for Justice in 'Fortune' Magazine

Fortune magazine has published a terrific profile of the Institute for Justice, whose staff includes (daughter of long-time ARI Executive Director Michael Berliner) Dana Berliner and (until recently) Clint Bolick, who has been a regular speaker at the Objectivist Center’s summer conferences.
The Fortune profile begins:

If you want to become a florist in Louisiana, a state law requires you to take a licensing exam. Your flowers are evaluated by licensed florists on subjective criteria such as whether they are “spaced effectively” and have the “proper focal point.” More than half of the applicants fail. Do unlicensed florists present a big menace? No, many believe the real explanation is that Louisiana florists want to limit their competition. In Oklahoma a similar law requires that anyone who wants to sell caskets must first obtain a funeral director’s license and embalm 25 bodies. These laws and others like them can seem unfair to entrepreneurs, and in recent years a nonprofit law firm called the Institute for Justice has helped small businesses fight them.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Institute for Justice is the only libertarian law firm in the country that handles cases coast-to-coast. (That’s libertarian with a lower-case ‘l’?IJ is not affiliated with any political party.) Working at no cost to clients, IJ’s lawyers try to limit government regulation, usually by challenging state laws. Aside from a handful of cases involving school choice and residential property rights, IJ works almost exclusively on behalf of small businesses, specifically in economic liberty, free speech, and eminent domain cases. It files suit only against the government, not private parties, and it doesn’t handle social issues such as abortion, gun control, or prayer in schools.
The firm has 12 to 15 active cases at any time, and several have been in the headlines in recent months. In March the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission backed down from prosecuting Christian Alf, a Tempe, Ariz., 17-year-old who started an after-school business patching holes in roofs to protect homes from a local rat infestation. At $30 a job, Alf was severely undercutting local licensed exterminators. After receiving IJ’s letter stating its intention to support Alf, and unflattering coverage in the Arizona Republic (Most Irritating Pests Are Those on State Commission), the commission determined that Alf was not breaking the law and issued a letter wishing him well.

See the full profile for more information about IJ, including Ayn Rand’s role in inspiring this “merry band of litigators.”