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Image of Justice, blindfolded. She is purposely designed to have as neutral a face as possible. The image is a backdrop for the text.

Students spend a summer at a legal clinic working on freedom of expression issues by directly serving clients, and get to tap into a network of like-minded law students and professionals as they make decisions about their careers. We prioritize supporting students of color, queer and trans students, and students with disabilities.
IfRFA was founded at a clinic, and we believe that clinics are uniquely well positioned to provide students with training. That’s why we require our fellows to spend at least part of their summer at a clinic within our broader network.

What do fellows get?

  • $10,000 stipend, primarily to cover living expenses for summer 2023. (The stipend will be paid in two parts - half in April, half in June.)

  • Placement at a law school clinic doing First Amendment or freedom of expression work for summer 2023.

  • A remote, weekly, externship-style seminar that combines clinical reflection with cutting edge freedom of expression issues, running for the full summer of 2023.

  • The opportunity to participate in an IfRFA gathering of practitioners, academics, and fellows on topical issues, with one currently scheduled for March 2023.

  • Mentorship and connection with IfRFA’s advisory board and network.

  • A warm, supportive environment to engage in First Amendment issues.


You’re eligible if...

  • You’re a 1L or 2L in a U.S. law school.

  • You can spend at least 8 weeks working at a legal clinic over summer 2023. (We’ll work with you to find the right clinic for you, though, so no need to stress about that!)

  • You can commit to a cohort convening in March 2023. (Either virtual or in-person TBD.) 

  • You self-identify as a person from a background underrepresented in First Amendment law. 

  • You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or green card holder - we are happy to work with students regarding their visa status, although we cannot sponsor visas.


What are we looking for?

  • Passion. Experience isn’t necessary, but you must have an interest in learning more about free expression and First Amendment issues.

  • Connection. No, we’re not saying you need to be well-connected already! Rather, we want to hear from you about how freedom of expression connects to your life and/or the work you want to do.

  • Commitment. IfRFA is a one and a half year commitment, followed by the opportunity to participate in a broader network post-fellowship. We are committing to you - we want you to be committed to us!

  • Need. We hope to fund students for whom a summer doing public interest work might not be in reach if not for IfRFA. Although we will consider applications from schools with funding opportunities for summer work, we hope you’ll understand if we prioritize folks who need the money.



  • We will be accepting applications from December 2, 2022 - January 9, 2023. All applications will be reviewed after January 9th, so take your time to recover from finals! For your perusal, the application questions can be found here. All applicants should follow this link to apply.

  • In mid to late January, we will reach out to candidates that we want to hear more from for interviews.

  • Fellowship decisions will be made in early February.

  • Clinic placements will be made in March.

  • Current and former fellows attend a workshop in March 2023. (If in person, travel arrangements to be made by IfRFA.)


Do you have questions about any of this? Reach out to

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