J. Joshua Wheeler

  • Lecturer
  • Director, First Amendment Clinic

Josh Wheeler is director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution engaged in research, outreach and intervention on behalf of the First Amendment freedoms of speech and press. He is a member of the California, D.C., and Virginia Bars.

Before his career in the law, Wheeler worked for seven years in higher education administration, during which he served as director of admissions for Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. In 1988 he was cited for “Special Contributions to College Admissions” by the Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Prior to joining the Thomas Jefferson Center, Wheeler practiced law in Los Angeles with the law firm Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian. He has been with the Thomas Jefferson Center since 1994. He served as director of programs from 1994-99, associate director from 1999-2010, and became director in 2011. In 2009, he was named as one of the “Distinguished Dozen,” an annual distinction of the Charlottesville-based newspaper, The Daily Progress, which recognizes 12 area residents who have made significant contributions to the community. On behalf of the Thomas Jefferson Center, Wheeler has authored and co-authored briefs filed in federal and state courts across the country. He is also the author of “Robert O’Neil: A Tribute,” published in the Virginia Law Review in June 2007. He also wrote “The Road Not Taken: How the Fourth Circuit Reached the Right Result for the Wrong Reason in Snyder v. Phelps,” published in the summer 2010 issue of the Cardozo Law Review De Novo. Wheeler is also an adjunct faculty member at Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he teaches American national politics.


  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • M.A.
    Hollins College
  • B.A.
    University of North Carolina

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