Abrams Fensterman leads law firms in call against antisemitism in local law schools

November 17, 2023 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Howard Fensterman, managing partner of Abrams Fensterman, pictured here, has taken a leading role in advocating against anti-Semitism in local law schools. The firm, along with other notable law firms, has issued a strong letter to law school deans, emphasizing the need to address and condemn anti-Semitic conduct and rhetoric in academia.Photo: Robert Abruzzese/Brooklyn Eagle
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Abrams Fensterman, alongside other law firms, has issued a letter to local law school deans, emphasizing the urgent need for a strong stance against antisemitic conduct in academic institutions. 

The letter, supported by firms like Harris Beach PLLC and L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, L.L.P., expresses deep disappointment in the inadequate response from many law schools to the increase in antisemitic incidents and rhetoric, especially following the tragic events of October 7, 2023, involving Hamas.

The letter states, “We have witnessed a disturbing increase in virulent anti-Israel, anti-Jewish speech on university campuses that goes well beyond the bounds of protected expression and, instead, seeks to incite listeners and readers to imminent violence and other unlawful acts against members of the Jewish community and others who support Israel.” 

It highlights the vital responsibility of educational leaders to protect all students and speak out against hate, stressing that this duty is crucial amid the current threats against Jewish students and Israel supporters.

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The firms assert that the observed rhetoric often constitutes “true threats” and crosses the line from protected speech to potential incitement of violence, under Supreme Court jurisprudence. 

The letter further emphasizes that deans and administrators have a duty to unequivocally condemn such speech, regardless of the protections of the First Amendment. 

The letter concludes with a stern message that the actions of law schools in addressing these issues will directly impact the firms’ future recruitment and hiring decisions, urging those who have not yet spoken out to do so.

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