WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, America First Legal (AFL), through its Center for Legal Equality, launched an initiative targeting illegal discrimination by law schools, corporate legal departments, and “Big Law” law firms.
On June 29, 2023, journalist Chris Rufo released a video of the University of California Berkeley’s School of Law’s Dean Erwin Chemerinsky admitting that the law school practices “unstated affirmative action” in faculty hiring. Dean Chemerinsky confirmed to the Daily Mail that the video was an authentic excerpt from his constitutional law class at Berkeley Law from the spring semester of 2023. He said his remarks were taken out of context and that “[a]s per existing California law, the Berkeley Law School cannot and does not consider race in any of its hiring and admissions decisions.” However, according to an official press release, “Berkeley Law has significantly increased the diversity of its students, faculty, and senior administrators since Chemerinsky arrived. Of the 16 faculty members hired under [Chemerinsky’s] watch, nine are people of color [sic].” This is strong statistical evidence that Berkeley Law violates California and federal law by discriminating against whites and other disfavored groups. Accordingly, AFL has filed a complaint with the American Bar Association asking for an investigation of Berkeley Law’s facially discriminatory hiring practices.
Also, the District of Columbia’s Rule of Professional Conduct 9.1 forbids lawyers from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion in “conditions of employment.” Comment 1 to the Rule states that it “is not intended to create ethical obligations that exceed those imposed on a lawyer by applicable law.” The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard makes it clear that “applicable law” absolutely prohibits lawyers from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, and sex in hiring, training, internships, scholarships, and promotions. However, the evidence is that many law firms and in-house attorneys do this precisely. Some have even resurrected the Jim Crow South by unlawfully contracting for goods and services based on race, color, and sex. Accordingly, AFL seeks an ethics ruling that immoral and illegal discrimination is also unethical and grounds for attorney discipline.
AFL will keep fighting the immoral woke elites wherever they may be – in corporate boardrooms, “Big Law” executive committees, academia, and government – to protect every American Citizen’s right to legal equality.
Statement from America First Legal’s Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight, Reed D. Rubinstein:
“Discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, and religion has been illegal for decades. Woke law schools, corporations, and law firms have decided that the incantation of “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “equity” gives them both a moral license and the legal right to ignore the rules that bind regular Americans and to upend the principle of individual equality. This is perverse and indefensible. AFL will continue fighting to protect the rule of law, our Constitutional system, and the moral foundation on which it rests.”
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