Jim Manley is the state legal policy deputy director at Pacific Legal Foundation, where he fights to enact PLF’s innovative legislative solutions in statehouses across the nation. He previously served as an attorney manager and litigator at PLF, suing the government in defense of free speech and economic opportunity. Freedom and happiness are inseparable—Jim has dedicated his career to protecting and expanding both through strategic litigation and policymaking.
In his first case after graduating from law school, he sued his alma mater and won at the Colorado Supreme Court, guaranteeing the right of self-defense on college campuses. Since then, he has successfully challenged many unconstitutional laws—including striking down part of the Kentucky Constitution, saving a man from jail for the “crime” of repairing windshields, preventing a foster child from being ripped away from her pre-adoptive parents because of her race, defending the right of a midwife to use the title she spent a lifetime earning, and helping to enact laws protecting free speech on college campuses. His work defending free speech, the right to keep and bear arms, taxpayer rights, and property rights has set important precedents for liberty in state and federal courts across the country.
Jim joined PLF in 2018 to advance the fight for liberty with the most impactful public interest law firm litigating today. Before joining PLF, he litigated at the Goldwater Institute and Mountain States Legal Foundation.
A native of Michigan, he followed his future wife to Arizona State University, where he graduated with a double major in political science and journalism. He earned his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, where he was an associate editor of the law review and president of the Federalist Society. Before attending law school, he was a professional ski instructor in Telluride, Colorado. He is licensed to practice law in Arizona and Colorado.
Jim lives in Phoenix with his wife, Marlene, and their children, Milton and Cora. They have a cat named Martha Washington.
Jim is a member of the bar only in the states of Arizona and Colorado.