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.


  • Sexual Assault Public Shaming Bill: Well-Intentioned, But Misguided, January 18, 2016

  • Bernie Sanders: Campus Sexual Assault Requires Law Enforcement Response, January 12, 2016

  • Missouri and Nebraska Legislators Introduce Campus Press Legislation, January 12, 2016

  • ‘Union Leader’ Editorial Calls Campus Free Expression Act ‘Necessary’, December 29, 2015

  • Student and Faculty Rights Bill Coming in Washington State, December 24, 2015

  • Congressional Budget Deal Includes Unfortunate Increase in OCR’s Budget, December 17, 2015

  • 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