Institute for Free Speech Welcomes Two New Attorneys

May 27, 2021   •  By IFS Staff   •  
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Washington, DC – The Institute for Free Speech today announced the additions of Senior Attorney Julie Smith and Attorney Martha Astor. Smith and Astor will help the Institute take on additional cases and expand our legal work to defend and advance free political speech.

“We are pleased to welcome Julie Smith and Martha Astor to our team. Julie brings impeccable credentials and extensive experience as a litigator, both in the private sector and in government. Martha worked with us as a summer fellow during law school and we are happy to have her back,” said Institute for Free Speech President David Keating.

Julie Smith joins the Institute for Free Speech as Senior Attorney after serving as Vice President at Cause of Action Institute, where she litigated against federal government overreach and argued before U.S. Courts of Appeals. Previously, Smith was Of Counsel at the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher and was a Partner at Foley & Lardner. She also served as a Senior Counsel in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement and Office of General Counsel. Smith earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

“The Institute’s mission to defend freedom of speech and privacy in association is critical in today’s environment. I look forward to helping Americans assert their First Amendment rights and challenge laws that restrict their political speech,” said Smith.

Martha Astor rejoins the Institute for Free Speech after serving as a staff attorney at the Goldwater Institute since 2019. Astor was previously a summer legal fellow at IFS in 2017, where she contributed to several amicus briefs, including the Institute’s brief to the Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States. Astor earned her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 2019 and has been an Adjunct Professor and Clinical Instructor at Northern Arizona University.

“As a passionate supporter of the First Amendment, there’s no better place to be than the Institute for Free Speech. I greatly enjoyed working with the IFS team in 2017 and am excited to return in a new role,” said Astor.

The additions of Smith and Astor cap off a significant expansion of the Institute’s legal team. Earlier this year, the Institute announced the hiring of Vice President for Litigation Alan Gura and the addition of Senior Attorneys Don Daugherty and Del Kolde. The Institute now has eight full-time attorneys, the most in the organization’s history.

About the Institute for Free Speech

The Institute for Free Speech is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes and defends the First Amendment rights to freely speak, assemble, publish, and petition the government. Originally known as the Center for Competitive Politics, it was founded in 2005 by Bradley A. Smith, a former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission. The Institute is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.

IFS Staff

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