RFI Welcomes Ian Speir as Senior Legal Fellow

January 12, 2024, Washington, D.C. – The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) is pleased to welcome Ian Speir as a Senior Legal Fellow. Speir will work primarily with RFI’s North America Action Team. 

Speir is the founder of Covenant Law PLLC, a boutique law firm based in Colorado Springs that provides strategic counsel to clients on issues of religious freedom, government accountability, free speech, and other matters of public interest. Speir founded Covenant Law in 2023 after more than a decade of practice serving religious organizations, nonprofits, and business clients. He has been a long-time collaborator with RFI, including co-authoring the Institutional Governance module of the RFI Crisis Toolkit for Religious Institutions.

“Ian Speir is one of the best religious liberty attorneys in America, and we are delighted to welcome him to the RFI team,” said RFI President Eric Patterson. “Speir has dedicated his career to defending religious freedom in law, especially for religious nonprofits. His vast legal experience, passion, and deep understanding of America’s first freedom will greatly benefit RFI, and we look forward to further collaboration with him in the years ahead.”

“Ian introduced himself to me in 2018 when I was a Congressional staffer, and it was an encounter that has become providential,” said Nathaniel Hurd, RFI’s North America Director. “He gave RFI wise counsel long before joining us officially. When we needed a legal expert to aid in developing the RFI Crisis Toolkit, we turned to Ian. When we were advising a house of worship navigating a potentially explosive situation, we brought in Ian. Our growing partnership with him strengthens our capacity to help vulnerable religious people and organizations.”

Before founding Covenant Law, Speir served first at a large law firm and later at a small firm he helped co-found. He writes, speaks, and has taught on the First Amendment, religious freedom, and the intersection of law, faith, and culture.

As a former adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Speir taught constitutional law and the First Amendment to undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to law school and careers in law. He is actively involved with family, church, and the Colorado Springs community; and serves on the board of the Nicaea Study Center, which seeks to engage the Christian intellectual tradition and harmonize intellectual growth with spiritual formation.

Speir graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011, and spent the next year clerking for Hon. Jerome A. Holmes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. 

Read Speir’s biography here.

The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) works to secure religious freedom for everyone, everywhere. RFI is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C.

Media Contact: Nathan Berkeley