As a FIRE intern, you will do substantive work and participate in weekly seminars with FIRE staff and other experts on freedom of expression, due process, and much more. Interns work at FIRE’s downtown Philadelphia office. The program runs from late May to early August and interns will receive a stipend of $5,250.
In ten short weeks, I found myself interacting with the First Amendment and freedom of expression in an astoundingly complex and multifaceted way.
In 2018, University of Pennsylvania student Caitlin Quinn joined FIRE as a summer intern. “By combining the practical with the aspirational, the FIRE Summer Internship program provides its interns with a lively and rewarding opportunity to examine how freedom of speech impacts all aspects of contemporary life,” she said.
FIRE offers a ten-week, paid summer internship as part of our efforts to educate students about their rights at colleges and universities. This internship gives current undergraduates the opportunity to assist FIRE in defending civil liberties on campuses across the country.
FIRE interns do substantive work and participate in weekly seminars with FIRE staff and other experts on freedom of expression, due process, and much more.
Interns will work at FIRE’s downtown Philadelphia office. The 2024 program will run from May 28–August 2 and interns will receive a stipend of $5,250.
The internship application process opens on November 1 and will close on Friday, March 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).
Qualifications and Responsibilities
FIRE is looking for passionate, team-oriented, and driven undergraduates (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors) attending colleges and universities in the United States who are looking to engage in free speech activism on campus. Ideal candidates are responsible, focused, and organized; have a passion for civil liberties; and have a history of taking action in support of causes they believe in. All interns are expected to demonstrate excellent research, writing, and communication skills. The ability to work under pressure and a sense of humor are also important.
- Work closely with our outreach, defense, policy reform, legislation, development, and media teams to assist with research and administrative projects.
- Assist with the planning and execution of the FIRE Student Network Summer Conference, as well as lead an hour-long session for conference attendees.
- Have the opportunity to contribute to FIRE’s Newsdesk.
- Learn the foundational arguments for protecting core rights in our free society through reading and discussion in weekly seminars with FIRE’s staff and other experts on civil liberties.
- Develop activism plans for ensuring student rights on campus.
Applicants should submit a cover letter and résumé, and written responses to questions on the application form. Written responses are evaluated not only on answers given, but also on clarity, style, and quality. We encourage applicants to thoughtfully prepare their responses to the questions.
The Summer 2024 internship application will close on Friday, March 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. (ET). All prospective interns will be informed of their application status within four weeks of the deadline. Applicants are considered and accepted on a rolling basis. Each year, FIRE receives hundreds of applications for the summer internship, and given the competitive nature of the position, we strongly recommend applicants submit their materials early.
Questions and inquiries about FIRE’s Summer Internship Program can be submitted to email@example.com.
1) What does an average day in the life of a FIRE intern look like?
Interns typically start the day by catching up on and discussing recent newsworthy events. Throughout the day, interns collaborate with various FIRE staffers in helping to support FIRE’s multifaceted response to breaking news, and our ongoing defense of free speech on campus. Interns work both individually and in teams, and are involved in a variety of functions. This includes everything from development and conference planning to education and outreach. Interns also take part in a number of educational sessions with FIRE’s staff and visiting free speech experts.
2) Is the FIRE internship open to high school students, graduate students, law students, or international students?
No. At this time, the internship is only open to undergraduate students (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors) studying at institutions in the United States. For more information about other opportunities at FIRE, please visit our jobs page. For information on FIRE’s Legal Clerkship for rising second- and third-year law students, please visit our Legal Clerkship Program page.
3) Will FIRE provide housing?
No, housing and transportation are the responsibility of individual interns. The FIRE office is centrally located in Philadelphia and offers an array of nearby affordable housing and transportation options. Interns have often used sublet Facebook groups to find housing for the summer.
4) Can I complete the internship remotely or as a hybrid?
There is not an option to complete the program remotely at this time.
“After having the privilege of being a FIRE Summer Intern, I can confidently say I have come back to my college campus more educated on how to defend free speech and the individual rights of my peers, and more confident in my professional capabilities. The atmosphere at FIRE is unlike any other organization I have worked with, and the mentorship and guidance from everyone in the office has greatly assisted in developing my skills…Along with giving interns amazing work experience, the internship also provides a great educational component with practice with legal writing, research, and interesting Friday constitutional law seminars led by Will Creeley, FIRE’s own Legal Director. One of the most special parts of FIRE internship is getting to work with an incredible cohort of other undergraduate interns who come from universities across the country. I will forever be grateful for my time spent at FIRE, and cannot recommend it enough to any student interested in free speech and the First Amendment!” — Nia Cain, 2023 Intern, The Ohio State University Class ‘24
“FIRE practices what they preach; one of best things about interning for FIRE is that the internal company culture reflects the priorities which FIRE seeks to promote in the wider society. From top leadership down to undergraduate interns, the openness to discussion which pervades the office is remarkable: political views are shared openly, few conversations are off-limits, and people communicate what is truly on their mind rather than simply toeing a party line… At FIRE—where my colleagues included conservative evangelicals, libertarians, classical liberals, progressives, and democratic socialists—diversity of political thought is a point of pride rather than a source of internal strife. There can be no better training for a career related to civil liberties than a job at an organization which truly embraces ideological differences and unapologetically protects free speech for everyone.” — William Harris, 2022 Intern, Haverford College Class ‘24