The First Amendment: Five Freedoms, Contextualized

(322 Ratings)

Produced on: June 29, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 90 minutes
Difficulty Advanced

Perhaps now more than ever, the rights set forth in the First Amendment are of critical importance in American civil society. While many may associate the First Amendment with only a hazy concept of “free speech”, there are five separate freedoms announced in the First Amendment: freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and the prohibition of an establishment of a state religion in America. These limitations on government power over individual expression and association form the vital core of our concept of civil liberties.

In this course, we will explore the freedoms and rights set forth in the First Amendment in historical context, and discuss practical examples of how those rights may be improperly restricted by governments, and actions that can be taken by conscientious practitioners to frustrate those improper restrictions. We will provide guidance for asserting First Amendment issues in §1983 litigation for redress of violations of rights, and provide talking points for explaining First Amendment freedoms for laypersons.

This course, presented by Samuel B. Cohen, noted New York §1983 practitioner, will provide practitioners with key insights into the fundamental purposes of the First Amendment, and tips for practical applications of First Amendment rights in a variety of contexts.   

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Introduce the First Amendment and First Amendment Rights
  2. Discuss the evolution of First Amendment rights over time
  3. Provide practical guidance for asserting First Amendment violations in §1983 practice
  4. Explore current and pending First Amendment issues 


Samuel B. Cohen

Samuel B. Cohen Law

Samuel B. Cohen is an attorney and counselor at law, admitted to practice in the State Courts of New York, the Federal Southern and Eastern District Courts for New York, and the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts in the Social Sciences from Hampshire College.

Samuel began his legal career as a litigation paralegal at the law firm Jaffe & Asher LLP, and served as the legal affairs director for the New York Dance Parade during law school, where he conducted independent studies in intellectual property issues, and received an award for research work in mixed for-profit/non-profit entities. Hired first as a clerk and then as an associate by prominent New York attorney Wylie M. Stecklow, Samuel discovered an aptitude and passion for civil rights litigation, and quickly rose to prominence among the civil rights bar.

Samuel lives with his wife, their devoted Boston Terrier “The Frances,” and two black cats, “Biggie” and “Puck.” He is an avid traveler and reader who enjoys finding interesting street art and exploring new places.


Lisa W.

Excellent program with a huge amount of content.

Max S.

Outstanding course. - understanding major constitutional issues in an evolving social environment.

Donald M.

Excellent presentation "judiciiously" presented.

Michael W.

Great course on a great topic

Robert H.

Informative and at times even entertaining.

Kenneth H.

Mr. Cohen is fantastic. You really come to share his passion for 1st Amendment advocacy.

Julian G.

Extremely informative.

Peter L.

This course was one of the best I've viewed thus far. Highly recommended.

Brett C.

Excellent lecture. Very interesting and well-reasoned.

Lynnann K.

excellent presentation

Scott K.

Great presentation

Ruth G.

Excellent. I've litigated cases for the press, and this added to my knowledge.

Albert R.


Samuel W.

good coverage of a vast subject matter

William D.

Highly informative, will watch again to supplement notes taken.

Steven K.

Very well done!

Thaddeus A.


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$ 89 Constitutional Law and Public Interest Law In Stock


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