FIRE is pleased to announce that Laura Beltz has joined our staff as a Program Officer in the Individual Rights Education Program.
FIRE followers may remember Laura as a familiar face: She previously worked for FIRE during the summer of 2014 as a legal intern.
Laura said that after spending time fighting for civil liberties on the nation’s campuses at FIRE, post-law school law firm work just didn’t hold the same appeal.
“You might not know exactly where your work is going [at a firm],” Laura said. “You might be working on a small portion of something. You kind of feel like you’re a cog in a wheel. But at FIRE you know exactly where your work is going; you are completely involved from the ground up. It’s a mission that I believe in so much.”
Laura, a Philadelphia-area native, graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in English through the Schreyer Honors College. While at Penn State, her interest in the role of free speech on college campuses developed through an English course on public expression that involved topics ranging from banned books to the constitutionality of Penn State’s speech codes. Laura wrote an honors thesis on law and literature and spent much of her four years competing with Penn State’s mock trial organization.
Laura then returned to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she became an associate editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law. After spending her first summer of law school as a FIRE legal intern, she worked as a legal intern at the National Constitution Center.
Laura said she is thrilled to be back.
“I kept thinking back to my time at FIRE and how fulfilling the work was and how much I enjoyed it. That’s what had me coming back,” Laura said. “I knew it was what I really wanted to do.”
In her spare time, Laura enjoys exploring the outdoors, including hiking and kayaking.
Please join us in welcoming Laura back to FIRE!