A group of America’s top law firms have sent a message to elite law schools warning them to crack down on anti-Semitic demonstrations, or they will stop hiring their students.
In a letter addressed simply to ‘Deans,’ about two-dozen of the nation’s top Wall Street firms warned that what takes place on campus may very well have corporate consequences.
‘Over the last several weeks, we have been alarmed 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,’ read the letter, which was signed by firms that include Kirkland & Ellis; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Sullivan & Cromwell.
The letter continued: ‘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.’
In a stern concluding paragraph, the firms tell the ‘Deans’ that they ‘trust you will take the same unequivocal stance against such activities as we do, and we look forward to a respectful dialogue with you to understand how you are addressing with urgency this serious situation at your law schools.’
One of the firms that signed the letter, David Polk & Wardwell, rescinded several job offers last month to students who had signed letters blaming Israel for the barbaric October 7 Hamas terror attack.
Another prominent firm whose name does not appear on the letter, Winston & Strawn, rescinded the job offer it previously gave to Ryna Workman, the president of the NYU Law Student Bar Association.
Last month, in a letter written and signed by Workman, the law student, who uses non-binary pronouns, wrote that ‘Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,’ adding: ‘I will not condemn Palestinian resistance.’
Winston & Strawn called Workman’s comments ‘inflammatory’ and said they ‘profoundly conflict’ with the values of the firms.
At the time, the firm said in a statement: ‘As communicated yesterday to all Winston personnel, we remain outraged and deeply saddened by the violent attack on Israel over the weekend. Our hearts go out to our Jewish colleagues, their families, and all those affected.’
The firms’ letter follows a significant number of recent anti-Semitic episodes that have played out across university campuses, including – most recently – a number of seriously violent messages threatening the Jewish community at Cornell University.
Many university presidents have been chastised for assuming what have often appeared to be weak and equivocal positions in response to the October 7 attack, and the rise of anti-Semitism on campus more broadly.
Harvard President Claudine Gay was forced to issue three statements on the terror attack after her initial statement was branded weak and insulting.
Joe Shenker, a senior chair of Sullivan & Cromwell told the New York Times’ DealBook that school officials across the board were ‘late to getting that Jewish students are actually scared – they feel threatened, and they feel betrayed.’
The student (left) is blocked from moving forward by an angry mob of protestors shouting ‘Shame!’ at him
A clearer image of the same Harvard protest captured on camera
A number of seriously violent messages threatening the Jewish community at Cornell University, in the latest anti-Semitic incident on a prestigious university campus
A statement signed by more than 30 Harvard student groups. It was published before Israel had made a single retaliatory move for the Palestinian terrorist massacre that killed 1,400
At Harvard University, a student identified as Ibrahim Bharmal – an editor of the Harvard Law Review – was seen on camera participating in an anti-Israel protest on the school’s Cambridge campus during which he physically harassed a Jewish student.
In the video, Bharmal and his fellow protestors followed, surrounded, and intimidated a Jewish student on campus who was merely trying to walk by the crowd.
Dozens of people screamed: ‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ at the student, who was forced to duck and swivel as he attempted to free himself from the swarm of bodies who were preventing him from moving.
The mob attempted to trap the student, encircling him and blocking his way with keffiyehs – the traditional Middle Eastern male headdress that have come to symbolize Palestinian nationalism.
Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, led the charge to name the students of the Harvard organizations who put out a statement blaming Israel for the Hamas attack
Members of the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee protest for the liberation of Palestine. Since putting out the statement, the group has claimed they are being unfairly targeted and have asked for support
In addition to law firms, powerful alumni at a handful of prestigious institutions have withdrawn or threatened to withdraw their donations to their alma maters.
The University of Pennsylvania in particular has taken a strong hit, led by Apollo CEO Marc Rowan, who admonished the Penn administration’s statements and handling of protests in the aftermath of October 7, in addition to condemning the school’s role in hosting a Palestinian literature festival that featured several known anti-Semites as speakers.
At Harvard, more than 30 student organizations signed a letter condemning Israel that was written and circulated in the hours after the radical Palestinian terror attack that left more than 1,000 innocent Israelis dead.
Following the circulation of the statement, billionaire hedge fund manager and Harvard grad Bill Ackman asked the university to release a list of the members of each of the 31 students organizations that signed the statement.
He wrote that the goal of releasing names would be to ‘insure that none of us inadvertently hire any of their members.’
‘One should not be able to hide behind a corporate shield when issuing statements supporting the actions of terrorists, who, we now learn, have beheaded babies, among other inconceivably despicable acts,’ wrote Ackman.
At least a dozen CEOs have publicly agreed with Ackman and said they too would like to know names so as not to mistakenly hire a terrorist sympathizer.