Sure is tough working a Biglaw job. It isn’t all wearing fancy suits and making $250k+ a year — some of the stuff you have to deal with is anathema to a peaceful work environment. Not the long hours or the stealth layoffs your firm is gaslighting you into believing are your fault. No, we all know what the real problem is: wokeness. From ABA Journal:
BigLaw is too woke, according to a former U.S. solicitor general who left Kirkland & Ellis in a dispute over representation of gun clients.
Appearing on a Saturday panel at an event for the Federalist Society, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement said large law firms have a “very serious” problem of liberal bias, Law360 reports.
Clement and another Kirkland & Ellis lawyer, Erin Murphy, left earlier this year. They started a new appellate boutique, Clement & Murphy. Clement said at the time that Kirkland had offered him a choice: Drop his Second Amendment clients, or withdraw from the law firm.
Other panelists agreed that partners at large law firms are more liberal than conservative. But they said there is still room for conservatives in BigLaw, according to Law360.
A thing we should remember about the operative word here, too, is that it is relative. Considering that FedSoc recently ousted a co-founder because he dared to claim that racism exists, color me suspicious.
FedSoc — right-wing chicken slinging cult that it is — calling anything too “woke” is like a police officer saying they smell “too much weed” in a car or a Klan member saying that there are too many Jews nearby; it applies just as well to when there is a lot of the offending presence as when there is none. Remember when Yale’s FedSoc called backlash against a “Trap House” party making fun of women and Black people too woke? Or when FedSoc women were shocked to discover that they weren’t getting fair treatment from their colleagues? It should be no surprise that Fedsoc is against “wokeness,” be it treating women and Blacks with respect, given that their holy grail of legalistic interpretation goes back to when both those categories of people were considered objects. At this point, if you aren’t being called woke by some FedSoc member, I’d like to know where you were on January 6th, 2021.
The response to “things are getting too woke in here” should not be “Hey, we still allow conservative opinions in Biglaw!” It is too easy of an equivocation between being conservative and being against common sense — Steven Calabresi’s recent and modest recognition that a country that has hosted 400 years of chattel slavery may have a bit of racist residue left resulting in a purge is proof of that. When you hear things like this:
“Part of the phenomenon is that big law firms are becoming increasingly woke because their clients are becoming increasingly woke,” Clement said.
The response should be that values matter. A workplace isn’t necessarily hostile because it doesn’t defer to your wish for less minorities or more opportunities to defend makers of rifles that kill children. It isn’t a cardinal sin for a business to… adapt to its clientele. Free markets, right? May mean your services would be better met working somewhere else, though. And remember, the people doing all this complaining about blackballing are very well connected. Just read the article — complaints about wokeness aside, Clement is still in the position to be able to offer folks jobs working with him. Trust me — there are a bunch of people grinning and bearing at complaints about “encroaching wokeness” because they don’t have nearly as much job security as the complainers.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com and by tweet at @WritesForRent.