The Initiative for a Representative First Amendment (IfRFA) was a home for First Amendment work that centered people and ideas who were not the traditional focus of freedom of expression law in the United States. We imagined a future where First Amendment law centered the experiences of the most marginalized, and everyone spoke more freely.
Our flagship program was our fellowship, a high-touch career and mentoring program for current law students, which entered its fourth year. Through it, we provided direct financial support to law students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in First Amendment law so that they could explore opportunities that they would not otherwise be able to.
Students spent a summer at a legal clinic working on freedom of expression issues by directly serving clients and got to tap into a network of like-minded law students and professionals as they made decisions about their careers. We prioritized supporting students of color, queer and trans students, and students with disabilities. As our network grew, we helped law students see themselves as part of a broad web of practitioners dedicated to justice and free expression.
Along with our fellowship, IfRFA hosted regular online events highlighting First Amendment work consistent with its mission and was looking to expand its programming and reach by bringing on additional full-time staff.
IfRFA was founded in September 2019 and thrived since then. It's run by Kendra Albert (Director) and Jasjot Kaur (Senior Project Coordinator), with help and advice from former fellows, advisory board members, and staff at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. We were proudly funded by the Legal Clinic Fund.