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.


  • Poll: Nearly three quarters of Americans agree campus sex assault policies must be fair to complainants and accused students, September 29, 2017

  • DeVos: Process to rescind ‘Dear Colleague’ letter has begun, September 8, 2017

  • Harvard Law professors to Department of Education: campus sexual assault policy needs revisiting, August 25, 2017

  • Recap: House committee holds campus free speech hearing, raises FIRE issues, July 31, 2017

  • Professor Sine Anahita: Current approach to enforcing Title IX invites ‘trouble’, June 26, 2017

  • Thoughts on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing on campus free speech, June 23, 2017

  • New Tennessee law is good news for academic freedom, May 15, 2017

  • New York lawmakers urge CUNY to rescind commencement speaker invitation, May 10, 2017

  • Second Wisconsin bill addressing free speech presents significant First Amendment problems, May 5, 2017

  • Wisconsin’s ‘Campus Free Speech Act’ gets lots right, has room for improvement, May 1, 2017