Major law firms push law schools to address ‘antisemitic harassment’ on campus

A group of about two dozen top law firms sent a letter to over 100 law school deans on Friday, warning the schools that they should take antisemitism more seriously, else the firms would be less likely to hire their students.

“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,” the firms wrote in the letter.

The warning comes amid widespread backlash to protests at universities against U.S. support for Israel for its actions in its war against Hamas in Gaza. Much of the focus has been on Ivy League institutions, specifically Harvard University.

Reports of antisemitism are also on the rise nationwide, including on college campuses. FBI Director Christopher Wray last week said antisemitism has reached “historic” levels.

The Biden administration announced a new initiative to fight antisemitism on college campuses specifically on Monday. That initiative includes increased law enforcement action.

“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 continues.

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The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has sparked debates on college campuses over what phrases are antisemitic and concerns over free speech.

Rising tensions have put students at odds with university administrators and notable donors, but also each other. Protests have left some students uncomfortable on campus or even feeling at risk.

“There’s no place for hate in America, and we condemn any antisemitic threat or incident in the strongest — in the strongest terms,” White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre said Monday after the administration’s plan against campus antisemitism was announced.

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