update deskU.S. News

Firm rescinds offer of NYU Law student who hailed Palestinian ‘resistance against oppression’

Winston & Strawn stated that it is “outraged and deeply saddened by the violent attack on Israel over the weekend.”

Winston & Strawn law firm in Washington, D.C. Credit: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock.
Winston & Strawn law firm in Washington, D.C. Credit: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock.

Ryna Workman, who identifies as nonbinary, issued a statement as president of the Student Bar Association at New York University School of Law expressing “unwavering and absolute solidarity with Palestinians in their resistance against oppression toward liberation and self-determination.”

“Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life,” Workman wrote. “This regime of state-sanctioned violence created the conditions that made resistance necessary.”

More than 1,000 Israeli deaths have been reported since Oct. 7, when members of the Hamas terror organization crossed Israel’s southern border and killed more than 1,000 people, wounded thousands and took more than 100 civilians hostage. Israeli President Isaac Herzog has referred to as the bloodiest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust.

The screed has proven costly for Workman, a former summer associate at Winston & Strawn who has now had a job offer at the firm rescinded.

“These comments are profoundly in conflict with Winston & Strawn’s values as a firm,” it stated. “Accordingly, the firm has rescinded the law student’s offer of employment.”

The law firm added that it remains “outraged and deeply saddened by the violent attack on Israel over the weekend. Our hearts go out to our Jewish colleagues, their families and all those affected.”

It also condemned Hamas and said it stands in solidarity with Israel’s right to exist.

Evidently, the student group is also trying to oust Workman as president.

“Whereupon Ryna Workman, president of the NYU Student Bar Association, had her job offer withdrawn thanks to her disgusting antisemitism and to Winston’s moral code and backbone,” wrote Megyn Kelly. “Good for them. Maybe Ryna can get a job on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”

Winston & Strawn, which is headquartered in Chicago and recently celebrated its 170th anniversary, has more than 975 attorneys, per to its LinkedIn page. According to its website, it has many ties to the Jewish community.

The Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation has honored Jeffrey Kessler, co-executive chair at the firm, at its annual gala and gave him an advocacy award; and the American Jewish Committee gave a human relations award to Dan Webb, another co-executive chair at the firm, who was also recognized for public service by the Anti-Defamation League.

In 2019, the firm, with the Lawfare Project, reached a settlement with the California State University system which a partner called “a landmark civil rights victory, not only for the rights of Jewish and Israeli students but for people of all religious faiths.” One of the firm’s Chicago partners is a mentor with the Jewish United Fund Women’s Mentoring Program, and another attorney sits on the board of the Charlotte Jewish Preschool.

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