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Affirmative-Action Opponent Edward Blum Threatens Legal Action Against Law Firms Over Diversity Fellowship Programs
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Edward Blum, a prominent advocate against affirmative action, has taken legal action against three leading law firms – Winston & Strawn, Hunton Andrews & Kurth, and Adams and Reese, alleging that their law student diversity fellowship programs may be violating federal law. This move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions, stemming from another lawsuit by a group led by Blum against Harvard University.

Challenges to Diversity Fellowship Programs:
Edward Blum’s American Alliance for Equal Rights has raised concerns regarding the eligibility criteria of these law firms’ diversity fellowship programs. The organization argues that these programs appear to discriminate based on race, violating federal civil rights laws. Blum emphasized, “No student should be treated differently because of their race or ethnicity.”

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Morrison Foerster and Perkins Coie Respond to Legal Pressure:
Previously, Morrison Foerster and Perkins Coie were targeted by Blum’s legal actions, which prompted them to revise their diversity recruitment programs. Morrison Foerster clarified that it would no longer require fellowship applicants to disclose their race and would not consider it as a factor in the selection process. Instead, they stated that they would assess applicants based on their discussions of how race impacted their lives, be it through experiences of discrimination, inspiration, or other factors.

Blum’s Legal Inquiry:
In response to the latest developments, lawyers from Blum’s organization have approached Winston & Strawn, Hunton Andrews & Kurth, and Adams and Reese, seeking clarification on whether these firms intend to continue using race as a factor in their application process. The firms have been given until October 13th to respond to this inquiry.

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Adams and Reese’s Decision to Abandon the Program:
In a notable development, Adams and Reese have decided to discontinue its “1L Minority Fellowship” program, informing Blum’s group of this decision.


Edward Blum’s legal pursuit against law firms with diversity fellowship programs underscores the ongoing debate over affirmative action, diversity, and inclusion efforts in the legal profession. It remains to be seen how these law firms will respond to the pressure and whether they will adjust their programs to align with federal civil rights laws.



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