Meet Andrew Napoli, 2017 Legal Fellow

ARI invites law students to join the Legal Fellowship program. The fellowship is a unique program in which law students do in-depth policy research on topics at the intersection of law and philosophy. Our legal fellows work with ARI’s director of Legal Studies, Steve Simpson, an experienced constitutional lawyer who for many years worked at the Institute for Justice. Today we’d like to introduce you to one of the 2017 legal fellows: Andrew Napoli, a second-year student at Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey.

Could you tell us a bit about your background? I’ve lived in the Philadelphia area my entire life and earned my bachelor’s degree in political science at Temple University in 2014. Before entering law school in 2016, I worked in property management and acquisition for a midsize development company in Center City, Philadelphia.

How did you discover Ayn Rand? I discovered Ayn Rand about seven years ago during my undergrad at Temple University. A friend of mine told me I would like her philosophy. He was right. After reading Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, I joined the Objectivist club at Temple where we read and discussed Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Why and how did you become a legal fellow? This past winter I attended a free-speech discussion panel led by Steve Simpson at the University of Pennsylvania. I mentioned to an ARI fellow that I was a law student interested in an internship, and he suggested I apply for the Legal Fellowship program.

What did you learn from your legal fellowship? This summer I worked with Steve Simpson on free speech issues. I learned specific First Amendment legal standards adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court. I also learned that speech codes at most universities across the United States do not comport with First Amendment legal standards.

In what way do you think that Ayn Rand’s ideas are most needed the most today?  Throughout their entire formal education, most Americans will never hear a coherent, rational statement of what rights are and where they come from. Until I read Ayn Rand, I had no idea my rights were being infringed upon by government on a daily basis. Ayn Rand’s theory of rights should be taught to as many young adults as possible.

What do you have to say to people who might be discovering Ayn Rand’s ideas for the first time? Be sure to compare and contrast her ideas with those who attempt to refute her. Do not accept or discredit anything simply because it “feels good.” Check your premises!

What’s your hobby? I play bass in my band Looseleaf. I also play guitar, piano, harmonica and ukulele.

# # #

If you think that ARI’s Legal Fellowship sounds interesting, and you would like to apply, then please send your resume/CV and cover letter to

# # #

For more news on ARI’s fight for a rational culture, subscribe to Impact Weekly.