Bloomberg Law
March 15, 2023, 2:56 PM

Judges Want ‘Disruptive’ Law Students Flagged to Employers

Seth Stern

Two federal appeals court judges say law schools should consider informing potential employers if students participate in protests that disrupt speakers on campus.

Fifth Circuit Judge James Ho and Eleventh Circuit Judge Elizabeth Branch wrote in the National Review that law schools should punish students who participate in “disruptive tactics” and said they’re failing to “teach students how to become good citizens.”

“And if schools are unwilling to impose consequences themselves, at a minimum they should identify the disrupters so that future employers know who they are hiring,” the judges said ahead of their scheduled appearance on Wednesday at Yale Law School.

Their article is the latest response to the disruption of Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan’s March 9 appearance at Stanford Law School where protesters interrupted his remarks.

Videos of the event posted online show Duncan facing off with protesters who were critical of his rulings.

Stanford University officials apologized in a letter to Duncan, saying “what happened was inconsistent with our policies on free speech.”

Duncan faced pushback from civil and LGBTQ rights organizations after Donald Trump nominated him to the Fifth Circuit in 2017. Citing his past legal work, those organizations argued he took positions that were harmful to the LGBTQ community.

The incident at Stanford is the latest at a law school campus in which conservative speakers were met with protests and part of a larger trend of students “shouting down” speakers with whom they disagree.

Ho attracted attention for his boycott of hiring future clerks from Yale Law for what he said was the school’s poor handling of student demonstrations at events featuring conservatives on campus. Branch later joined that boycott.

Ho and Branch write that “schools should inform employers if they’re injecting potentially disruptive forces into their organizations.”

“Otherwise, more and more employers may start to reach the same conclusion that we did last fall — that we have no choice but to stop hiring from these schools in the future,” they write.

Trump appointees Ho and Branch are among several federal judges scheduled to talk about friendships across divides and judging in partisan times at the Yale event.

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Crawley at