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Summer 2015

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce a call for applications for its Legal Internship for Summer 2015.

FIRE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. FIRE effectively and decisively defends constitutional liberties on behalf of thousands of students and faculty on our nation’s campuses. In addition to individual case work, FIRE informs the public about the state of civil liberties on our campuses.

FIRE supports and coordinates precedent-setting litigation in defense of the First Amendment and freedom of expression. FIRE’s litigation efforts aim to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes on public campuses and to ensure truth-in-advertising and informed consent on private campuses. Launched in July 2014, FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, has already secured 3 victories, resulting in settlements and policy revisions at Modesto Junior College, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Citrus College. Prior to the Project’s launch, cooperating attorneys from FIRE’s Legal Network secured victories at Shippensburg University, Texas Tech University, Citrus College, the State University of New York at Brockport, San Francisco State University, Temple University, Tarrant County College, and the University of Cincinnati.


FIRE’s legal internship is open to rising second- and third-year law students. Applicants are expected to be self-motivated, possess excellent legal writing and analytical skills, and demonstrate a commitment to civil liberties. Knowledge of First Amendment jurisprudence is preferred, but not required.


FIRE legal interns perform substantive work on behalf of student and faculty civil liberties, with an emphasis on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly, and religious liberty. Specifically, legal interns’ responsibilities will include:

  • Researching speech-related policies at public universities to support FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project;
  • Researching and writing memoranda about recent developments in First Amendment, contract, higher education, and constitutional law;
  • Assisting FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program with cases involving the abuse of civil liberties at colleges and universities across the country;
  • Assisting FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program in securing policy revisions; and
  • Researching policy reforms and relevant trends in legal theory concerning freedoms of association, speech, conscience, and religion on campus.

Collaborative opportunities for publication are available. FIRE staff attorneys will assist in the creation of a writing sample during the summer. Legal interns will participate in academic seminars with FIRE’s leadership and other experts on civil liberties on campus.

Application Procedures

FIRE considers applications for legal internships year-round and on a rolling basis. Legal internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on individual students’ particular needs. However, pursuit of independent funding and public interest fellowships is encouraged. Interns will work in FIRE’s Philadelphia headquarters.

Interested students should email a cover letter, résumé, and a writing sample to William Creeley, Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy, at