Those of you who have followed FIRE’s work closely are probably already familiar with our new Senior Program Officer, Will Creeley. He has been working with FIRE since the summer of 2004, and in the spring of this year—while he was getting ready to graduate from NYU and take the bar exam—he began working part-time for FIRE. With law school and the bar exam behind him, he is now a full-time part of the team, and we are thrilled to have him on board. But enough from me—here’s Will:
I am extremely proud to begin my professional career at FIRE. Because of my legal interests and my previous experience working for FIRE, I know I am in the right place.
During my time at New York University School of Law, I focused my coursework on constitutional law, because I knew that I wanted to use my legal education to protect the liberties our Constitution guarantees to all Americans. As the son of a poet, I am particularly sensitive to the power of words; concordantly, my studies at NYU Law gravitated naturally to the Constitution’s extraordinary commitment to the value of free speech, elegantly enshrined in the noble language of the First Amendment. Working for FIRE provides me with an opportunity to employ my legal training in the service of those who find their right to freedom of expression abridged or curtailed.
I know first-hand the deep satisfaction that comes from helping students and professors defend their constitutional liberties on campus. Working as a legal intern for FIRE in the summer of 2004, I had perhaps the most rewarding legal experience I have known in helping Dr. Lisa Church. Dr. Church is a professor at Rhode Island College who, with FIRE’s help, successfully fought the College’s attempts to punish her for refusing to censor the protected speech of others. Having just finished my first year of law school, I had not yet had the chance to feel the distinct thrill of helping someone to assert their constitutional rights, but Dr. Church’s case submission provided me with the opportunity to do just that. I handled much of the initial correspondence with Dr. Church, assisted in analyzing her claims, and helped draft letters to Rhode Island College’s president to protest the school’s actions. Similarly, my experience that summer helping Occidental College student Jason Antebi begin his ongoing battle against administrators was also invigorating. Co-writing a column criticizing Occidental for its outrageous actions against Antebi introduced me to the power of media pressure. Knowing that you can help those being persecuted and punished for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech is a terrific feeling.
I am honored to be surrounded by a bright, dynamic team of people. FIRE’s work is surely the cutting edge of First Amendment law, and I am very excited about the years to come.