Joseph Cohn

About Joseph Cohn

Joseph Cohn, FIRE’s Legislative and Policy Director, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Fels Institute of Government Administration, where he earned his Juris Doctor and Masters in Government Administration. Prior to law school, Joe attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV), where he graduated cum laude and co-founded the university’s ACLU chapter. A former staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and law clerk in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Joe joins FIRE having demonstrated a career-long dedication to advancing the cause of civil liberties.

He has served as a staff attorney at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, where his work earned him accolades from The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly (“2007 Lawyer on the Fast Track”) in 2007 and from Super Lawyers magazine (“Rising Star”) in 2008. In 2010, Joe taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as an adjunct professor, where he lectured on good trial practices and supervised law students as they represented real clients in both state and federal courts. Just prior to joining FIRE, Joe served as the interim legal director for ACLU affiliates in Nevada and Utah.


  • Napolitano Criticizes OCR Overreach and Questions Colleges’ Ability to Investigate and Adjudicate Campus Sex Assault Cases, October 14, 2015

  • Second Department of Education Official in Eight Days Tells Congress Guidance Is Not Binding, October 2, 2015

  • Department of Education’s Overreach Questioned by Senator Lamar Alexander, September 30, 2015

  • Follow-Up Thoughts on Yesterday’s Congressional Hearing, September 11, 2015

  • Following Speech Code Letter, ‘Richmond Times-Dispatch’ Heaps Praise on Rep. Goodlatte, August 20, 2015

  • Congress Introduces Second Campus Due Process Bill: The Fair Campus Act, August 3, 2015

  • Congress Introduces Due Process Legislation: The Safe Campus Act, July 29, 2015

  • Everything Is Bigger in Texas, Including Violations of the First Amendment, July 16, 2015

  • Assemblyman Describes Problems with New York’s New Campus Sex Law, July 16, 2015

  • California Court: UCSD Sexual Assault Proceedings Violated Student’s Due Process Rights, July 14, 2015

  • Articles

  • Daily Camera, September 18, 2015, Joe Cohn: Apology Accepted, Rep. Polis, but You’re Still Wrong

  • The Hill, August 17, 2015, The Case for Mandatory Reporting of Campus Sexual Assault

  •, June 15, 2015, Legislators Should Reject Governor’s Campus Sex Bill

  • Grand Forks Herald, February 1, 2015, Joe Cohn: Current System Throws Students Into Lion’s Den

  • The Washington Post, January 16, 2015, Colleges Are Not The Place To Try Rape Cases

  • The Hill, September 29, 2014, Legislative Rush on Campus Sexual Assault Threatens Student Rights

  • January 9, 2014, A New Year for Student Rights