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Law Schools Ask Firms for Harassment Policies

May 15, 2018
 
 

Yale Law School and other top legal education programs on Monday asked law firms recruiting on their campuses to disclose their workplace harassment policies for summer associates.

Those positions can be a key step toward a professional career for law students. But recent reports showed that some big firms have required summer associates to sign mandatory arbitration or nondisclosure agreements.

Organizers have pushed for the disclosure of those policies, arguing they allow law firms to limit reports of workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment, to secretive forums that favor employers.

Fifty law schools signed on to the letter asking firms to complete a survey on workplace policies. Survey results are expected to be available by June 8.

“Contractually surrendering rights contributes to workplace cultures in which discrimination and harassment are facts of life for too many women who work for law firms," said Molly Coleman, a Harvard law student who helped organize the campaign for the disclosures. "We are pleased that we will soon have a better sense of the scope of the problem, but we know this is just a first step toward our ultimate goal of firms dropping these contract provisions for employees at all levels.”

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