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No Jobs for Trump Administration Lawyers, Group Tells Firms

Nov. 13, 2020, 11:01 AM

Trump administration lawyers who have “abused” their roles by aiding the president shouldn’t get jobs at big firms and universities, a group of law students and new attorneys said Friday.

Those who shouldn’t get posts include former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, former Solicitor General Noel Francisco, and former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division John Gore, according to the open letter by the People’s Parity Project.

“The goal of the project is to hold the political and legal architects of these policies accountable,” said Sejal Singh, one of the group’s co-founders. “Our goal is not to target career civil servants.”

Among the lawyers named, Francisco and Gore have returned to private practice at Jones Day, a firm with deep ties to the current administration. The firm has recently come under criticism for representing the Pennsylvania Republican Party in a Trump-aligned lawsuit challenging the system for counting ballots in the Keystone State.

Rosenstein joined King & Spalding as a partner shortly after resigning from the Justice Department in 2019. Scalia, the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, was a longtime partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher before being tapped for a Trump Cabinet position last year.

“Do not launder the reputations of these lawyers who, as political appointees or corporate counsel, have aided and abetted the Administration’s attacks on immigrants, civil rights, and democracy,” the group’s letter said.

People’s Parity Project, founded by four Harvard University law students in 2018 to end harassment in the legal profession, has expanded its focus “to unrig the legal system and build a justice system that values people over profits,” according to the group’s website.

It has grown beyond Harvard law students and recent graduates to include those at schools such as George Washington University, the University of Michigan, and New York University.

The group has also lobbied big firms to remove mandatory arbitration agreements from employee contracts and convinced firms including Kirkland & Ellis, Munger, Tolles & Olson, and Sidley Austin to do so. It has also been at the forefront of efforts to stop harassment in the judiciary.

In a separate effort this week focused on the current administration, the group launched a Trump Accountability Team.

The goal is to track the career moves of top Trump administration lawyers as they leave government jobs. The group plans to submit public records requests to uncover details about the work the lawyers did and publish reports of their findings. Singh said students are considering direct action against law firms.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at srussellkraft@gmail.com
To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloombergindustry.com;
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com