US law firms issue warning on anti-Semitism

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By Rhys Duncan on


Many of the 41 offer training contracts in London

Over 40 of America’s largest law firms have directed a letter to the country’s top law schools, addressing recent anti-Semitic activity on university campuses.

The firms — who between them offer substantial numbers of training contracts in the UK — begin the letter by stating how, “everyone at our law firms is entitled to be treated with respect and be free of any conduct that targets their identity and is offensive, hostile, intimidating or inconsistent with their personal dignity and rights.”

“We have been alarmed”, they continue, “at reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on college campuses, including rallies calling for the death of Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel. Such anti-Semitic activities would not be tolerated at any of our firms.”

The letter goes on to note the importance of a “free exchange of ideas, even on emotionally charged issues, in a manner that affirms the value we all hold dear and rejects unreservedly that which is antithetical to those values.” In achieving this, “it is imperative”, the firms say, that universities provide students “with the tools and guidance” required.

Speaking directly about the prospects of future graduates, the letter continues:

“There is no room for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism or any other form of violence, hatred or bigotry on your campuses, in our workplaces or our communities.

As employers who recruit from each of your law schools, we look to you to ensure your students who hope to join our firms after graduation are prepared to be an active part of workplace communities that have zero tolerance policies for any form of discrimination or harassment, much less the kind that has been taking place on some law school campuses.”

The letter concludes by noting how the elite firms “trust [the Deans] will take the same unequivocal stance against such activities as we do”, and that they “look forward to a respectful dialogue with [the Deans] to understand how [they] are addressing with urgency this serious situation at [their] law schools.”

The number of signatories has risen since the letter was made public, and now includes the following 41 firms:

Akin Gump
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Cleary Gottlieb
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Davis Polk
Debevoise & Plimpton
Dechert LLP
Dentons US LLP
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Fried Frank
Gibson Dunn
Goodwin Procter LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
Kirkland & Ellis
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Latham & Watkins
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
McDermott Will & Emery
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockiu
O’Melveny & Mvers
Paul Hastings
Paul Weiss
Proskauer Rose
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan UK LLP
Ropes & Gray
Schulte Roth + Zabel
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Sidley Austin
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Skadden & Flom
Sullivan & Cromwell
Wachtell Lipton Rosen and Katz
Weil Gotshal & Manges
White & Case LLP
Willkie Farr & Gallagher

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