The latest addition to FIRE’s growing staff is Alec Schoenfeld, our first-ever archival fellow. Alec’s Philadelphia-based position is a part of FIRE’s new Speech, Outreach, Advocacy, and Research (SOAR) project.
A boon to FIRE as we manage an ever-growing caseload, Alec will delve into our internal case history to catalog and analyze data collected in case submissions from students and faculty members who reach out to FIRE for assistance. Alec will help us create a searchable database for use internally here at FIRE, and analyze both short- and long-term case submission trends.
Alec comes to FIRE from the international law firm Dechert LLP, where he was a senior member of the Conflicts Department. At Dechert, he identified and researched potential conflicts of interest for all of the firm’s new matters. He graduated magna cum laude from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law where he was the lead articles editor of the Temple Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and won the David Adamany Prize for excellence in the study of constitutional law.
His latest transition from law firm to FIRE, Alec says, was an easy one.
“Like a lot of law students, I ended up in law school in part because I read a lot about politics and political theory and in part because I cared about advocacy and civic engagement. I just never outgrew my interest in constitutional law and civic engagement and never found any areas of law that spoke to me the way free-speech and civil-rights issues did,” he said. “I still believe democracy is built on the informed consent of its citizens, and I’m not sure how that equation works without the free exchange of ideas and a free press.
“I’m hoping that being at FIRE will allow me to spend more time thinking and reading about free speech and individual rights,” he said, “so I can expand my knowledge and complicate my views.”
Before law school, Alec took just three years to earn his bachelor’s degree, with honors, in politics from New York University. He subsequently served two terms in the national service program, AmeriCorps, including a year with City Year Philadelphia.
We’re glad to have you aboard, Alec! Welcome to FIRE.