Legal Support | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Legal Support

Defending Your Rights

FIRE strategically litigates in courts nationwide to vindicate the First Amendment and due process rights of college faculty and students. In 2022, we expanded our litigation mission beyond campus to preserve the free expression rights of everyday Americans. FIRE’s litigation team proactively seeks plaintiffs to participate in lawsuits that have the potential to set lasting legal precedents. Our lawyers also work to position FIRE as a thought leader in First Amendment jurisprudence by submitting amicus briefs in strategically chosen cases, teaching Continuing Legal Education courses, recruiting like-minded attorneys to the FIRE Legal Network, and publishing legal scholarship.

FIRE Legal Network

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FIRE office entrance, Philadelphia, PA

Defending free speech since 1999

Facing censorship or retaliation for protected speech? FIRE lawyers are here to help you when your free speech rights are violated.

FIRE in the Courts

Do I have a case? What is a case?

By “case,” we mean any situation you suspect represents a threat to your right to freedom of speech, freedom of association, or sanctity of conscience. Additionally, if you are at an institution of higher education, we will consider cases involving due process, legal equality, and religious liberty. 

Case Submission FAQ

FIRE in the Courts

Juliette Colunga
Haskell Indian Nations University Student Journalist Jared Nally

FIRE filed a lawsuit against the university to protect student press freedoms for Jared, The Indian Leader, and student journalists around the country.

Student journalist SUES his university, and WINS!

FIRE on Campus

The president of Haskell Indian Nations University issued an unconstitutional directive to student journalist Jared Nally, editor-in-chief of the award winning student newspaper, The Indian Leader, that formally forbade Jared from engaging in protected journalistic activities. He also directed Jared to start showing university administrators the “highest respect” — or else!

Read About Jared’s Victory in Court

Student Press Freedom Initiative

Are you a student journalist? FIRE has your back. Our Student Press Freedom Initiative (SPFI) defends free press on campus by advocating for the rights of student journalists across the country.

Learn more about how FIRE defends the free student press

Faculty Legal Defense Fund

The Faculty Legal Defense Fund offers “first responder” assistance to protect the expressive and academic freedom of faculty at public colleges and universities. So if you face censorship or retaliation for your instruction or scholarship, or for your speech on issues of public concern as a private citizen, then FLDF may be able to help. 

Learn More About FLDF

FLDF Hotline

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University of Washington Professor Stuart Reges
University administrators turned me into a pariah on campus because I included a land acknowledgment that wasn’t sufficiently progressive for them.

Defending Your Rights in Court

Faculty Story

When Professor Stuart Reges challenged the University of Washington’s position on land acknowledgements, administrators punished him, undermining his academic freedom. He reached out to FIRE, and we took the university to court. “I am pleased that FIRE joined with me to fight back against University of Washington’s illegal viewpoint discrimination,” said Reges.

Read Stuart’s Story

Get Involved

Are you a legal professional interested in helping clients with First Amendment cases? Check out FIRE’s opportunities for you to make a difference by helping someone when they need it most.

Collin College Professor Michael Phillips
I never dreamed I would teach at a college where I would be ordered to not share facts, particularly life-saving ones, with my students.

FIRE Has Your Back

Faculty Story

FIRE sued Collin College for firing “Educator of the Year” and historian Michael Phillips after he criticized the college’s COVID-19 policies.

Read Michael's Story