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Tulane First Amendment Clinic


The First Amendment Clinic was founded in 2020 thanks to the generous support of the Stanton Foundation. We represent individuals without regard to political ideology and our mission is to protect the free speech rights of all.

The First Amendment Clinic allows law students to learn substantive First Amendment law while developing concrete lawyering skills through federal litigation and advocacy work. Students represent clients in matters involving the First Amendment “expressive” clauses, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and access to the courts. Students have handled matters involving public protest and dissent, student speech, artistic expression, intimidations of members of the media, and much more.












Our Clinic students have hands-on opportunities to litigate important constitutional questions that have real-world impact.

Student attorneys conduct all aspects of federal court litigation, drafting pleadings, discovery and briefs; conducting depositions; arguing motions; negotiating settlements and trying cases in state and federal court. Students also engage in non-litigation advocacy on behalf of clinic clients, providing legal counsel to members of the public and the media in various contexts including “know your rights” materials and pre-publication review of matters for members of the media. 

We accept cases that provide our students with experience in strategic legal thinking and nuanced arguments, as well as practical skills necessary to good lawyering.

Our diverse docket seeks to protect public discourse, combat censorship and support a free press.

Protecting the “Public Square” for Dissent and Debate

  • Our client Ross Brunet was criminally cited seven times for “obscenity on a public highway” for flying explicit anti-Biden flags off the back of his pickup truck. We helped Mr. Brunet sue the officials who not only repeatedly pulled him over and hauled him into court, but also tried to enact laws specifically targeting his chosen form of expression. Mr. Brunet won his case in September 2023.
  • When residents of Louisiana wanted to march in opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment providing tax incentives to industrial plants, the town of Gramercy, La. stopped the march by requiring a cumbersome permit prior to the march. Our client RISE St. James fought back and won an overhaul of the Grammercy town ordinances.
  • When a state senator blocked a local woman on social media for her critical comments on Twitter, we took up her case. Social media is the modern version of the public square, considering so much political advocacy and debate occurs online. Our client wants social media preserved as a forum for criticism of our elected officials.
  • We represent several clients across Louisiana, from Lafayette to Bossier City who are fighting attempts by public bodies to “chill” their right to speak up at public meetings. In every case, we strive to protect public spaces for citizens’ rights to voice their dissent and to question public officials.

Fighting Government Censorship

  • We represented two New Orleans workers who faced potential discipline for criticizing the City government, even off the clock. This 2022 case had a tremendous impact in protecting the free speech rights of more than 1,700 employees and gave our students excellent, firsthand experience in litigation and negotiations.
  • A member of a Lafayette library committee wrote a newspaper opinion piece opposing book censorship. As a result she lost her appointment to the library committee. Our students negotiated with the parish’s attorneys and won her reinstatement.
  • Louisianians across the state are standing up against censorship and book restrictions in public libraries.  Local residents who oppose censorship efforts in Lafayette, Livingston, St. Tammany and Rapides Parishes have requested our legal support. A team of our students continues to work extensively on library censorship issues, which include threats of criminal prosecution against librarians.
  • Two of our student attorneys represented high school students who had been trying for years to establish a Gender and Sexualities Alliance (“GSA”) club. After several months of advocacy the high school students were allowed to launch the club, which is now in operation and on equal footing with other extracurricular offerings.

Freedom of the Press

  • Thanks to generous support from the Legal Clinic Fund for Local News, we represent individual journalists in lawsuits to enforce the public records law and open meetings law. We work daily with reporters around the state to support requests for public records and help navigate access to documents and government meetings, so that important public stories can be reported.