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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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Andrew Kreighbaum

Andrew Kreighbaum joins Inside Higher Ed as our federal policy reporter. Andrew comes to us from The Investigative Reporting Workshop. He received his master's in data journalism at the University of Missouri, and has interned at USA Today and a national journalism institute in Columbia, MO. Before getting his master's, Andrew spent three years covering government and education at local papers in El Paso, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in history and was news editor at The Daily Texan.

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