Columbia Protestors’ Careers On The Line

Momos, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Tuesday, after a group of conservative judges revealed in a letter they wouldn’t be hiring Columbia Law graduates, Columbia Law School Dean Gillian Lester came to the graduating class of 2024’s defense.

The letter sent to Columbia Law School’s Dean and Columbia University President Minouche Shafik and signed by over a dozen right-leaning federal judges comes after weeks of pro-Palestinian protests began on the campus.

In the letter, the 13 judges described how they had “lost confidence” in Columbia as a higher education institution and that despite hiring “law clerks every year,” they were instituting a moratorium on hiring graduates from Columbia Law to serve in the federal judiciary.

They asserted their actions were an attempt to “restore” academic freedom at the University, following weeks of Pro-Palestine protest action that began at Columbia’s campus and spread to University campuses across the nation.

Columbia University students were the first to protest against the Israel-Hamas war, demanding that the University divest from Israeli companies and companies linked with supplying Israel with weapons.

In the letter, the judges claimed Columbia was applying “double standards” relating to “free speech and student misconduct,” claiming that had the protest action been an “uprising of religious conservatives,” the University’s response would have been “profoundly different.”

However, reporting by Reuters revealed Columbia Law School graduates are unlikely to be affected by the decision of the 13 judges, considering the law school isn’t a notable feeder into federal clerkship, with the overwhelming majority of graduates becoming associates at private law firms.

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