“at least the second major law firm to take the step as rivals face lawsuits targeting similar programs”
People are starting to challenge the diversity agenda when it’s unlawful. This is a good thing.
Bloomberg Law reports:
Gibson Dunn Changes Diversity Award Criteria as Firms Face Suits
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher changed the eligibility criteria for its diversity scholarships, becoming at least the second major law firm to take the step as rivals face lawsuits targeting similar programs.
The firm’s $50,000 diversity and inclusion scholarship goes to students “who have demonstrated resilience and excellence on their path toward a career in law,” under the new language, which is a change from “students who identify with an underrepresented group,” according to the archival Wayback Machine website. The firm declined to comment on the timing or reasoning for the change.
“Our program has always been—and remains—open to all law students who demonstrate a commitment to diversity in the profession,” said Zakiyyah Salim-Williams, Gibson Dunn’s chief diversity officer. “It is one of many ways we try to reach the best and brightest and encourage them to come work with us.”
Gibson Dunn joins Morrison & Foerster in distancing its programming language from mentioning historical underrepresentation in eligibility criteria. One of Edward Blum’s anti-affirmative action groups, The American Alliance for Equal Rights, sued Morrison & Foerster and Perkins Coie in August, alleging that the firms’ diversity fellowships are unlawful.
A separate Blum group, Students for Fair Admissions, won a US Supreme Court ruling June 29 that effectively barred universities from using race as a factor in admissions. Perkins Coie said it would defend against Blum’s suit “vigorously.”
The Gibson Dunn language changes are sad but not surprising, said Chantal Raymond, chief executive officer of Inclusive Legal Search. “Firms are risk averse,” Raymond said. “They don’t want to take on litigation. It’s not surprising that they would try to mitigate risks as much as possible.”
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