ADL Program Challenges Law Firm Summer Associates with Research on Key Civil Rights Issues
New York, NY, August 20, 2007 … Summer associates from more than 100 leading law firms across the country participated in the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) annual Summer Associate Research Program.
The program, a partnership between private law firms and ADL, provides law firm summer associates with the opportunity to engage in significant research on key civil rights issues of the day. Throughout the summer, the law associates are supervised by partners within their firms and consult with the League's staff attorneys on creating a body of research on topics specified by ADL. The number of associates participating in the program has grown every year since its inception in 1999.
"The Summer Associate Research Program benefits all involved," said Marvin Nathan, ADL Civil Rights Chair. "Law firms are provided with constitutional research projects for their summer associates that are challenging and relevant, the associates gain experience and exposure to critical civil rights issues, and the League benefits from the body of research and analysis produced by these young professionals."
"We are so fortunate to have a wonderful group of associates who are well informed on the issues and the law to provide a pro bono service while learning about ADL's mission combating anti-Semitism and bigotry and fighting for the civil rights and equal treatment of all Americans," added Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director.
The topics researched by the attorneys and future attorneys arise from current issues and events that are either in the news or ADL has encountered in its work. Topics include matters of civil rights, hate crimes, discrimination, the separation of church and state, religious freedom, the First Amendment, immigration and international law.
At the conclusion of the program, the associates produce issue briefs and other research that serve as important resources in helping to craft ADL policy on key domestic and foreign policy issues.
The summer 2007 program included associates affiliated with law firms in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, working with 11 different ADL regional offices, including:
• Boston: More than 40 law students at 15 top law firms participated in the Boston program. On July 26, the participating Summer Associates presented their findings at a breakfast reception hosted by Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP and heard an address by Judge Douglas P. Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts. Participating firms included Bingham McCutchen LLP; Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP; Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP; Dwyer & Collora, LLP; Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP; Foley Hoag LLP; Goodwin Procter LLP; Goulston & Storrs; Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C.; Nixon Peabody LLP; Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP; Prince, Lobel, Glovsky & Tye LLP; Ropes & Gray; Rudolph Friedmann LLP; and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
• Chicago: Fifteen law firms and over 45 summer associates participated in the Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional office's fourth annual Summer Associate Research Program. The summer associates contributed over 40 research memos on topics of immigration reform, religious liberty, and hate crimes. The program featured two receptions. At the opening reception, Regional Director Lonnie Nasatir spoke about ADL's mission and the importance of pro bono work. At the closing reception, Richard Hoffman, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Boim v. Quranic Literacy Institute, discussed his successful representation of the parents of David Boim, a 17 year-old American citizen murdered by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. Mr. Hoffman secured a $156 million jury verdict against American citizens and organizations that had provided material support to Hamas. The program was co-chaired by Gary Feinerman and Jonathan Quinn.
• Los Angeles: Since 1999, prominent law firms have donated the time of one or more summer associates to write a research memorandum for ADL on a wide range of topics including religious freedom, discrimination and extremist group activities. The 2007 Summer Associate Research Program included 15 major Los Angeles-area law firms. On August 1, the law firm of Jones Day hosted a reception for all participants and summaries of research papers were distributed. Judge A. Howard Matz of United States District Court was the featured speaker.
• New Jersey: Summer associates from four of New Jersey's leading law firms participated in the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Summer Associate Research Program. The four prominent New Jersey law firms that participated in the program in 2007 summer were: Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus; Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti LLP; Sills Cummis Epstein & Gross; and Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer. Attorneys at theses firms supervised 14 summer associates in researching topics that included discrimination, free speech, immigration, hate crimes, and religious freedom. Some of the topics researched by the students were whether restrictions can be placed on public school teachers who wear religious garb such as a yarmulke, face veil or cross necklace while in the school environment; what legal issues are implicated in religious speeches by students at school graduation ceremonies; and whether a defendant's association in certain groups (e.g., white supremacist groups) is admissible as evidence to prosecute hate crimes.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.