Joe Cohn

About Joe Cohn

Joe 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.


  • Rep. Holmes Norton latest policymaker to highlight importance of campus free speech, May 23, 2018

  • College Republicans event featuring Israeli reservists disrupted at UC Irvine, May 8, 2018

  • Problematic anti-Semitism bill passes in South Carolina, April 17, 2018

  • FIRE’s response to Nebraska state senators, December 19, 2017

  • Congress’ Higher Education Act reauthorization tackles campus free speech and due process, December 1, 2017

  • Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence discusses campus sexual assault, October 27, 2017

  • Biden: ‘We hurt ourselves badly when we don’t allow’ free speech on campus (VIDEO), October 17, 2017

  • California governor vetoes campus sexual misconduct bill, October 16, 2017

  • New Wisconsin Regents policy has problems and promise, October 10, 2017

  • White House wrongly calls for investigation into UNLV professor’s comments, October 9, 2017

  • 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