First Amendment Clinic

SMU Dedman School of Law's First Amendment Clinic opened in Fall 2020, thanks to a generous gift of $900,000 from the Stanton Foundation. The Clinic focuses on First Amendment issues including free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly and petition. This funding covers the core operating expenses of the Clinic for five years.

The Stanton Foundation was created by Dr. Frank Stanton, the long-time president of CBS and one of the founding fathers of the television industry. Dr. Stanton was a fierce defender of freedom of speech and the First Amendment and received numerous awards in recognition of his efforts to ensure the freedom of the press.

“The Stanton Foundation is very pleased that SMU has accepted this gift. We believe that freedom of expression and the First Amendment must be protected by enhancing law students’ understanding of the First Amendment and providing a resource for organizations, students, journalists, and citizens defending their First Amendment rights. Equally important, we are confident that as graduates, SMU lawyers will exercise leadership in the support of First Amendment values in their communities, the state of Texas, and throughout the country.” said David Johnson, spokesman for the Foundation.


Application for Legal Assistance


Contact Information

Faculty and Staff

Thomas S. Leatherbury
Director, First Amendment Clinic and
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law

Peter Steffensen
Law Fellow and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, First Amendment Clinic

Lisa Montes
Legal Clinics Coordinator

Mailing Address

SMU Dedman School of Law
P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX  75275-0116

Physical Address

SMU Dedman School of Law
3315 Daniel Avenue
Dallas, TX  75205



Phone:  214-768-1125