Summer Internship Program

FIRE's 2018 intern class

Applications for the internship program are currently closed.

Questions and inquiries about FIRE’s Summer Internship program can be submitted to


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 plethora 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, 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.

3) Is the FIRE Internship open to law students?

This internship is only open to undergraduate students (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors). For information on FIRE’s Legal Internship for rising second and third year law students, please visit our Legal Internship Program page.

4) Will FIRE provide housing?

No, housing and transportation are the responsibility of individual interns. The FIRE office is centrally located and Philadelphia offers an array of affordable housing and transportation options.


“The FIRE Summer Internship program is an exceptionally unique opportunity. In ten short weeks I found myself interacting with the First Amendment and freedom of expression in an astoundingly complex and multifaceted way. By allowing interns to engage with all aspects of FIRE’s work, from nonprofit development to intense constitutional discussions with legal scholars, my knowledge of freedom of speech, and the value I hold for freedom of expression has increased considerably. 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.

— Caitlin Quinn, 2018 Intern, University of Pennsylvania

“From the wonderful staff to the intellectually stimulating work, my time at FIRE was both enlightening and engaging. The staff was incredibly thoughtful in educating me on the First Amendment and its history. I gained a first hand understanding of the importance of free expression and civil discourse by debating my fellow interns, several of whom were on the opposing side of the political spectrum. I came to better understand the arguments against freedom of speech, and, more importantly, where said arguments fall short. I went in expecting a compelling internship, but I left with a remarkable educational experience.”

— Henry Spiro, 2018 Intern, Wesleyan University

“I could not envision a more illuminating, emboldening and meaningful experience than FIRE’s summer internship. My time with FIRE has opened my eyes to the world of First Amendment advocacy in a way that has been fully enriching and invigorating. FIRE is unparalleled in its dedication to the growth of its interns; I have gained not only a more nuanced perspective on free speech issues, but also a better grasp of my personal and professional goals. I learned crucial strategies for engendering change on campus, ones that will leave me better equipped to have an impact in my remaining time at college.”

— Katherine Hung, 2017 Intern, Harvard University

“It’s hard to overstate just how valuable and unique my time at FIRE has been. I honestly can’t imagine a more interesting or engaged place to work. You learn so much just by observing the work that the amazing people here do every day. I’ll be returning to school in the fall having learned more than I could possibly have imagined I would. It will be truly sad to leave this place behind.”

Alec Ward, 2016 Intern, University of Pennsylvania

“My internship at FIRE was a remarkable opportunity for me to work and converse with intelligent, engaged, and passionate colleagues and fellow interns from across the ideological spectrum. It was an experience that gave me an incredible appreciation for open discourse and free expression, and allowed me to assist staff ensuring First Amendment rights nationwide. I leave this internship with immense respect for the work FIRE does, and the progress they continue to make.”

Elizabeth Gudgel, 2016 Intern, Johns Hopkins University

“The FIRE office possesses a palpable energy and dynamism that is unlike any workplace I have ever experienced. While I’ve learned, throughout my internship, much about civil liberties, First Amendment jurisprudence, and public advocacy, more than anything I am proud to have observed firsthand what it means to be principled.”

— Konrad Thallner, 2014 Intern, Colgate University