Two major Biglaw 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 dismantled college affirmative action — also founded The American Alliance for Equal Rights, the group currently suing Perkins Coie and Morrison Foerster for their efforts to diversify the legal profession.
The case against Perkins Coie was filed in the Northern District of Texas, while the one against Morrison Foerster was filed in the Southern District of Florida. Both lawsuits take aim at diversity fellowships at the firms, asserting, “This kind of rank discrimination was never lawful, even before SFFA v. Harvard held that colleges cannot use race in admissions.”
Perkins Coie posted on its website “we re-affirm our commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace and legal profession” following the Supreme Court’s decision. The Seattle-founded firm has diversity fellowships for 1L and 2L students from underrepresented backgrounds, according to the firm’s site.
Neither Perkins Coie nor MoFo have yet to respond to the suits.
Kathryn Rubino is a 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 connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.