update deskSchools & Higher Education

Law firm halts Harvard student recruitment post-testimony on ‘genocide’

Edelson PC will not participate in upcoming events in 2024.

Entrance gate and east facade of Sever Hall at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Roman Babakin/Shutterstock.
Entrance gate and east facade of Sever Hall at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Roman Babakin/Shutterstock.

The fallout from Harvard University president Claudine Gay’s responses and controversial statements to Congress on Dec. 5 spilled over to a Chicago law firm deciding to withdraw plans to offer jobs at the school’s fairs scheduled for next month and August 2024.

“Factoring in her extensive experience and preparation with a crisis management team, Dr. Gay’s testimony before Congress cannot be seen as merely a slip of the tongue,” Jay Edelson, founder of Edelson PC, wrote in a letter to Jesse Ohrenberger, the director of recruitment and operations at Harvard. “It must be unequivocally clear that calls for the genocide of any group—be it on the basis of religion, race, gender, disability or sexual orientation—are indefensible and contrary to the values we uphold.”

Edelson wrote: “Dr. Gay was in a position to help lead the country. She did the very opposite.”

He acknowledged that the problem was not the students themselves and that other opportunities would be provided for those interested in positions.

“We trust that Harvard Law School understands the position we find ourselves in and the importance of upholding the highest ethical standards, particularly in the realm of legal education and practice. Our firm remains dedicated to fostering a legal community that resolutely combats injustice in all forms,” Edelson wrote in his conclusion. “To the extent that your school is able to embrace the principles of justice, inclusivity and safety that we’ve long believed we shared with Harvard, we would be excited to restart the relationship.”

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