Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious liberty for all Americans.

We believe that in today’s diverse, pluralistic society, the government must protect the constitutional rights of its citizens in order for us all to coexist peacefully — even when we disagree. And the true cornerstone of that belief means recognizing and defending the fundamental right of every individual – of any faith – to follow their conscience and to live according to their religious beliefs.

As our Founding Fathers declared, religious liberty is our first and most foundational right, It serves as the catalyst of all subsequent freedoms. When religious liberty is threatened or attacked, every other freedom is endangered. And once our First Freedom is lost, it will be gone forever.

That’s why we are First In the Fight when it comes to defending and protecting our country’s most cherished and profound freedom: religious liberty.


Originally called Liberty Legal Institute, the organization was founded in 1972 as a division of Free Market Foundation. In 1997, Kelly Shackelford formed Liberty Institute as a nonprofit law firm specializing in religious liberty cases primarily litigated in Texas.

In 2009, Liberty Legal officially became Liberty Institute, quickly gaining renown as the premiere legal organization defending religious liberty beyond our Texas borders. In 2012, Liberty Institute expanded to become a nationwide organization, expanding litigation to all 50 states.

In 2016, the organization’s name changed to First Liberty Institute and now handles hundreds of religious liberty case each year through a growing network of elite, volunteer attorneys.

Today, as the largest legal organization exclusively dedicated to defending religious liberty, First Liberty Institute continues to lead the fight for religious liberty across every state and every generation of Americans…