Legal Support

Defending Your Rights

FIRE strategically litigates in courts nationwide to vindicate the First Amendment and due process rights of college faculty and students. In 2022, we expanded our litigation mission beyond campus to preserve the free expression rights of everyday Americans. FIRE’s litigation team proactively seeks plaintiffs to participate in lawsuits that have the potential to set lasting legal precedents. Our lawyers also work to position FIRE as a thought leader in First Amendment jurisprudence by submitting amicus briefs in strategically chosen cases, teaching Continuing Legal Education courses, recruiting like-minded attorneys to the FIRE Legal Network, and publishing legal scholarship.

FIRE Legal Network

Weight scales in court room library. Law old retro style photo
FIRE office entrance, Philadelphia, PA

Defending free speech since 1999

Facing censorship or retaliation for protected speech? FIRE lawyers are here to help you when your free speech rights are violated.

FIRE in the Courts

FIRE plaintiff Jeff Gray holds a sign reading "God bless homeless vets"
I have been harassed, trespassed, handcuffed and arrested countless times for peacefully exercising my First Amendment rights. My intention is to ensure that all Americans from the wealthiest millionaire to the poorest homeless person can exercise these rights without fear of consequence from our government.

Army vet arrested for holding ‘God Bless the Homeless Vets’ sign

Our Impact

Jeff Gray, a U.S. Army veteran and retired truck driver, has been repeatedly stopped, detained, searched, and arrested by the police. His alleged crime? Holding signs — in front of city halls across the United States. 

READ Jeff's Story

Do I have a case? What is a case?

By “case,” we mean any situation you suspect represents a threat to your right to freedom of speech, freedom of association, or sanctity of conscience. Additionally, if you are at an institution of higher education, we will consider cases involving due process, legal equality, and religious liberty. 

Case Submission FAQ

FIRE in the Courts

Juliette Colunga
Haskell Indian Nations University Student Journalist Jared Nally

FIRE filed a lawsuit against the university to protect student press freedoms for Jared, The Indian Leader, and student journalists around the country.

Student journalist SUES his university, and WINS!

FIRE on Campus

The president of Haskell Indian Nations University issued an unconstitutional directive to student journalist Jared Nally, editor-in-chief of the award winning student newspaper, The Indian Leader, that formally forbade Jared from engaging in protected journalistic activities. He also directed Jared to start showing university administrators the “highest respect” — or else!

Read About Jared’s Victory in Court

Student Press Freedom Initiative

Are you a student journalist? FIRE has your back. Our Student Press Freedom Initiative (SPFI) defends free press on campus by advocating for the rights of student journalists across the country.

Learn more about how FIRE defends the free student press

Faculty Legal Defense Fund

The Faculty Legal Defense Fund offers “first responder” assistance to protect the expressive and academic freedom of faculty at public colleges and universities. So if you face censorship or retaliation for your instruction or scholarship, or for your speech on issues of public concern as a private citizen, then FLDF may be able to help. 

Learn More About FLDF

FLDF Hotline

lawsuit justice lawyers plaintiff defendant in courtroom
Reedley College professor Bill Blanken
“I’m a professor of chemistry. How am I supposed to incorporate DEI into my classroom instruction? What’s the ‘anti-racist’ perspective on the atomic mass of boron?" — Reedley College Professor Bill Blanken

FIRE Has Your Back

Faculty Story

FIRE filed a lawsuit on behalf of six California community college professors to halt new, systemwide regulations forcing professors to espouse and teach politicized conceptions of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Read Their Story

Get Involved

Are you a legal professional interested in helping clients with First Amendment cases? Check out FIRE’s opportunities for you to make a difference by helping someone when they need it most.