Campus Rights Advocacy

Defending Your Rights

Our Campus Rights Advocacy team provides free assistance to students and faculty facing civil liberties violations on America’s college and university campuses. 

With a focus on free expression and academic freedom, our advocates routinely support students and faculty investigated or punished for actions such as saying, teaching, or researching something unpopular or controversial; violating vague or overbroad policies that contradict the institution’s other free speech promises; or inviting a controversial speaker to deliver a talk on campus.

University of Connecticut Students Michael Hernandez Isadore Johnson and John Jay Mosely
Ilya Shapiro
FIRE is now my favorite organization in America. Its advice and support in those critical first 24-72 hours of the cancellation campaign against me were crucial in the pushback that ultimately allowed me to survive and thrive.

Canceled for a Tweet

When Georgetown Law suspended faculty member Ilya Shapiro and launched an investigation into a controversial tweet, FIRE stepped in to defend his free speech and academic freedom rights. Georgetown finally reinstated him on after a 122-day investigation, determining that the law school couldn’t punish him for a tweet he posted before the start of his employment.

Read Ilya's Story

Three Steps to Your Defense

We review hundreds of potential rights violations each year and seek justice for those we help. How? By using our authority and reputation to directly demand that those in power respect the Constitution or uphold their own stated commitments to civil liberties.

Weight scales in court room library. Law old retro style photo
  • Concerned that your rights may be at risk? If you are in trouble for something you said, contact FIRE confidentially. 

    For faculty at public colleges and universities, call FIRE’s Faculty Legal Defense Fund Hotline: 254-500-FLDF (3533). 

    If you’re a college journalist facing censorship or a media law question, call the Student Press Freedom Initiative 24-hour hotline at 717-734-SPFI (7734).

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FIRE Guides to Student Rights on Campus

FIRE Guides emphasize the critical importance of legal equality over the selective assignment of rights and responsibilities, of self-governance over coercion, and of the rule of law and fair procedure over the ad hoc and arbitrary imposition of partisan and repressive rules.

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