Ballard Spahr media and First Amendment lawyer Matthew Cate has joined the board of the Student Press Law Center. He will serve a three-year term.

The Student Press Law Center is an independent, nonpartisan non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. It works to ensure that student journalists can publish without censorship or prior review in an open marketplace of ideas that promotes a culture of transparency, accountability, and critical thinking.

Mr. Cate, an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, helps reporters break through barriers to public information, defends journalists’ rights to shield their confidential newsgathering materials, and represents media companies and journalists facing legal threats.

Before becoming a lawyer, Cate was a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, primarily covering government and politics. His journalism career began as a high school and college student journalist.