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Summer 2014

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce a call for applications for its Legal Internship for Summer 2014.

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 in an effort to eliminate unconstitutional speech codes on public campuses and to ensure truth-in-advertising and informed consent on private campuses. Cooperating attorneys from FIRE’s Legal Network have 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 Speech Code 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; and
  • Exploring policy reform involving students’ freedoms of association, speech, conscience, and religion, as well as examining relevant trends in legal theory.

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 strongly encouraged. Interns will work in FIRE’s Philadelphia headquarters.

Interested students should email a cover letter, résumé, and a writing sample (maximum five pages) to William Creeley, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, at