[U]nless the story was about, say, the partner’s pro bono representation, in a civil action for damages, of a hate crime or police brutality victim who was attacked and called “the n word,” it was hugely inappropriate….
We’re glad we left ourselves that escape hatch. We now have more context about the incident, thanks to an email from the Fulbright & Jaworski executive committee:
Because you may hear about or be asked about a recent situation at a law school where attorneys participated in training interviews of students, we want to bring it to your attention. One of our lawyers recounted a story about Leon Jaworski’s defense of an African-American man in a murder trial in Waco, Texas in the 1920s. During the retelling, in an effort to display the depth of racial hostility that Jaworski and his client faced, the attorney used a racial term that characterized what the district attorney in the case said about the defendant. After review of the situation, all involved concluded that such terms, although recounted without ill intentions, are inappropriate for our firm, which values diversity and strives for inclusiveness.
We are addressing the situation, and Steve Pfeiffer and other senior partners are en route to meet with the students. One of the other attorneys who participated in the training session acted immediately when the incident was called to his attention and responded with an electronic letter of explanation and appropriate apology. Any inquiries should be directed to the firm’s Hiring Partner, Gerry Lowry.
Here’s some further evidence suggesting that the Duke law school community may be overreacting. Per a current law student at Duke:
This partner was relating what another person said in the context of telling a story. Now everyone is piling on him. The student [who voiced the complaint] has been goaded on by some super liberal professors.
Interesting. As we’ve previously stated, we welcome any and all information about this incident. Thanks.
Earlier: Breaking: Fulbright & Jaworski Partner Drops the N-Bomb During A Recruiting Interview!
Stepping in Deep Duke-y: More Details, Please