Friday, November 3, 2023
...and asking them to do what exactly? I'm not really sure. Many of the disturbing campus incidents (e.g., at Cornell) do not involve the law school; at others (e.g., Berkeley), the First Amendment protects most of this speech, so there is nothing for the law school to do. Harvard and NYU both had law students involved in notorious incidents. In the latter case, the student expressed a lawful but offensive opinion, and she has already lost a job offer; in the former case, the student may be criminally liable for assault and battery. Most of the top law schools have not had any anti-semitic or racist incidents. If the point of the letter is to signal to students that the private market will punish them for otherwise lawful speech that is offensive or expresses incorrect views, then it certainly does that. All these law schools were already under a legal obligation to provide a learning environment free of unlawful discrimination, and as far as I can see, they are all fully committed to that.
One interesting thing about the letter is that many of the firms now concerned about anti-semitism were firms that would not hire or promote Jews to partnership only fifty or sixty years ago. Times do change, and sometimes for the better!