CURRENT MONTH (February 2019)

Professional Responsibility

Harvard Law Students Target “BigLaw” Employment Agreements

By Keith R. Fisher

A group of Harvard Law students calling themselves the Pipeline Parity Project (PPP) have attacked several large law firms that require employees to arbitrate employment issues, including discrimination and sexual harassment claims.  PPP opposes forcing employees to “forfeit their civil rights as a condition of employment.” 

The group urges fellow students to boycott interviewing at such firms, and “#DumpKirkland” has already been successful in getting Kirkland & Ellis to eliminate mandatory arbitration provisions in its employment contracts for associates.  Sidley & Austin followed suit proactively, before becaming a PPP target, and approximately a  year ago Munger, Tolles & Olsen discontinued using such provisions with summer associates when it came under fire for doing so.   But DLA Piper last November refused to change its policies.

In early February, PPP inaugurated #DumpVenable, attacking the firm for promising that summer associates would be subject to such provisions but then reneging on that promise.   The group’s efforts are not limited to Harvard interviewees, however, but more broadly encourage law student groups around the country “who may be sponsored by Venable or other firms using forced arbitration” to refuse such sponsorships.



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