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Defending and Educating about the First Amendment

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) defends the constitutional rights of college students and faculty members regardless of viewpoint. It also teaches high school and college students and educators about our first freedoms, files lawsuits and briefs in key cases, and engages college administrators and state actors to reform policies to protect fundamental rights. 

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is the leading appellate nonprofit law firm defending the First Amendment freedoms of individuals and groups across the religious spectrum. Becket’s subject matter expertise and successful representation have helped establish key legal precedents at the federal appeals courts. Becket’s legal internship program and clinical partnerships with Stanford and Harvard law schools put students to work immediately on active cases, supplementing core constitutional education for top law students.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is a large network of advocates for religious liberty, free speech, and related issues, engaging more than 3,000 allied attorneys and hundreds of likeminded organizations. The alliance litigates and funds lawsuits to defend constitutional rights in court and engages in a wide range of public advocacy for those freedoms in the culture. Through its Center for Academic Freedom, ADF defends free speech and religious liberty at public universities.

ADF also hosts training programs focused on constitutional issues, notably the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, which provides more than 150 law students per year with a nine-week summer leadership program, and the Young Lawyers Academy, which equips recent law school graduates and early-career lawyers to advocate for constitutional rights.

Lawsuits and public advocacy at the Institute for Justice (IJ) focus on economic liberty, educational choice, private property, and the First Amendment. IJ also provides educational resources in these areas, including a Clinic on Entrepreneurship and First Amendment resources on topics such as donor privacy and occupational speech, to advance understanding of constitutional and other legal rights. The First Liberty Institute, a national legal organization dedicated to religious liberty, also produces a Religious Liberty Protection Kit for Students and Teachers and other resources that teach citizens about protecting their First Amendment freedoms.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

Philadelphia, PA

Annual expenditures: $9.5 million

President and CEO: Greg Lukianoff



Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Washington, D.C.

Annual expenditures: $7.4 million

President: Mark Rienzi



Alliance Defending Freedom

Scottsdale, AZ

Annual expenditures (all programs): $55 million

President, CEO, and General Counsel: Michael P. Farris



Institute for Justice

Arlington, VA

Annual expenditures: $28 million

President and General Counsel: Scott G. Bullock



First Liberty Institute

Plano, TX

Annual expenditures: $12.5 million

President, CEO, and Chief Counsel: Kelly Shackelford


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