A prominent law firm recently made the decision to revoke job offers extended to three students from Harvard and Columbia law schools. The reason behind this action was the students’ endorsement of statements that placed blame on Israel for a series of terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas. The Columbia statement went a step further by suggesting that these attacks were justified acts of resistance. These events and the subsequent military response by Israel have tragically resulted in the loss of over 4,000 lives.
The law firm, Davis Polk, communicated to its employees via an internal email that the offers were withdrawn because the statements made by these students contradicted the firm’s core values. They concluded that rescinding the offers was necessary to uphold their responsibility in providing a safe and inclusive work environment for all Davis Polk employees.
This incident is part of a growing trend where students are facing the consequences of lost employment opportunities due to their support for such statements. For example, Ryna Workman, a law student at New York University, lost an employment offer from the law firm Winston & Strawn after expressing support for a statement that held Israel entirely responsible for the loss of life in the conflict.
Not only have job offers been withdrawn, but influential figures like billionaire Bill Ackman and Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman have called for the public disclosure of the names of these students who endorsed the statement to ensure that hiring decisions avoid individuals involved in such positions. This case highlights the deeply polarizing and divisive nature of discussions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within academic and professional circles.