Two Big Law Firms Sued Over Diversity Initiatives

Diversity-5541062_640Two major big law firms are facing separate lawsuits over their diversity programs. Edward Blum, who founded Students for Fair Admissions — the plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court case that abolished college affirmative action — also founded the American Alliance for Equal Rights, the group currently supporting Perkins Coie and Morrison Foerster for their efforts sued to diversify the legal profession.

The lawsuit against Perkins Coie was filed in the Northern District of Texas, while the lawsuit against Morrison Foerster was filed in the Southern District of Florida. Both lawsuits target corporate diversity scholarship, alleging, “This type of rank discrimination was never lawful, even before SFFA ruled against Harvard that colleges should not use race as a basis for admissions.”

The lawsuits come after Senator Tom Cotton threatened biglaw firms over their DEI initiatives. However, the industry only shrugged its shoulders at this threat.

As Bloomberg Law reports, Perkins has continued to support its programs following the recent Supreme Court case:

Perkins Coie wrote on his website following the Supreme Court decision, “We reaffirm our commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace and legal profession.” According to the company’s website, the Seattle-based company offers 1L and 2L diversity scholarships -Students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Neither Perkins Coie nor MoFo have yet responded to the lawsuits.

Kathryn Rubino is Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best so please contact them. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments, and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon

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