Remembering TCPaul, 2016-2019

Diversity hiring at law firms violates Title VII?

This message was sent yesterday (anonymously from an encrypt christhomas3605/03/19
1.) Don't you have to file a charge with the EEOC within 180 interveningrights05/03/19
It’s yes and no. A firm with a lack of American Indian at qdllc05/03/19
Not sure why that person is in Biglaw with that God awful, l fuckyouracists05/03/19
I looked at her firm profile. There is no Shelly Feldman at christhomas3605/03/19
Native americans are trickier under these laws than most att bigsal05/07/19
But it's worth a shot right? Whether an EEOC will pursue a c christhomas3605/03/19
Worth a shot? I mean, whoever sent the letter is not going t superttthero05/03/19
You're missing the key legal issues. The hiring IS just "peo christhomas3605/03/19
Her credentials dont make her a crazy candidate. Looks to me superttthero05/03/19
Please don't do Civil Rights Litigation, Op. Case is a lose fuckyouracists05/03/19
Poor writing skills says "f*ckyouracists". Interesting. I christhomas3605/03/19
I don't have to explain anything because I'm an important in fuckyouracists05/03/19
There is the law, the practice, and the political climate. taxamnesty05/03/19
During law school I had a call back interview at Holland & K irishlaw05/03/19
Yeah. That must be it. Cannot be any other explanation. Lots esquirewalletsmatter05/03/19
Wait, was it anonymous, or was it Shelly Feldman? therewillbeblood05/03/19
This ain't just a biglaw issues. Corporations do the same. I taxamnesty05/03/19
Taxamnesty - It is not "a small fraction of the entire pool" christhomas3605/03/19
I have yet to hear of a single successful claim of reverse d taxamnesty05/03/19
For the purposes of Title VII, there is only discrimination, christhomas3605/03/19
That's a novel position without any legal precedent. As othe taxamnesty05/03/19
Those firefighters in Mew Haven Connecticut, about a decade dingbat05/03/19
If she was top quarter of her class at UC then I don't see t superttthero05/03/19
Also, Holland and Knight just isn't prestigious enough to ju therewillbeblood05/03/19
But think about the resentment of all the law school grads w christhomas3605/03/19
This is how it always has been... Did you just crawl out fro taxamnesty05/03/19
Taxamnesty - It is not about what is fair or unfair, it is a christhomas3605/03/19
Are you attempting to shame people into doing legal search f taxamnesty05/03/19
"But think about the resentment of all the law school grads superttthero05/03/19
She's in San Francisco. The very definition of non-affordabl therewillbeblood05/03/19
therewillbeblood (great movie by the way), she is in SF now christhomas3605/03/19
"Title VII doesn't care about "well-connected", "speaks thre therewillbeblood05/03/19
LOL. so in a nutshell, somebody is butthurt that the AZN ey williamdrayton05/03/19
^ - Yes, West Coast firms have been aggressively seeking bus interveningrights05/03/19
Whoever sent this is an awfully petty, childish, envious, sa superttthero05/03/19
The email was forwarded to me by a colleague of mine at Holl christhomas3605/03/19
Show us a document, email or sound statistical analysis that superttthero05/03/19
as super-t mentions, who has standing here? especially g williamdrayton05/03/19
Yup. fuckyouracists05/03/19
Williamdrayton, any individual who applies for the 1L positi christhomas3605/03/19
I think you're missing the legal arguments altogether. Witho christhomas3605/03/19
Sorry Chris Thomas, but you’re missing a major point. L dingbat05/03/19
Your arguments are "dingbat". Appropriate user name fortunat christhomas3605/03/19
i wasn't sure if OP was serious or not. his insults about $ williamdrayton05/03/19
williamdrayton - I don't know if you have ever worked for a christhomas3605/03/19
Congratulations you understand the first prong of McDonnell esquirewalletsmatter05/03/19
Oh, before I forget, the summer associate program is not the dingbat05/03/19
Thanks for linking to Baker Hostetler. But, instead of look dingbat05/03/19
dingbat and esquirewalletsmatter, Both of your responses rachels76305/03/19
Your attacks are rather cute. Had a nice chuckle. I haven’ esquirewalletsmatter05/03/19
I think the biggest lol was at the end saying that a legal i superttthero05/03/19
esquirewalletsmatter - What attack? Unpersuasive arguments a rachels76305/03/19
Yawn. Get at me when you graduate law school... esquirewalletsmatter05/04/19
You keep ignoring a key point. Baker Hostetler has a "schol dingbat05/04/19
Which, again, is why diversity encompasses more than race. fuckyouracists05/04/19
I don't want to derail, but I disagree about biglaw associat dingbat05/06/19
It’s the lack of experience that often shows. Lots of hand esquirewalletsmatter05/06/19
I had that a lot with ibankers who would be all high and mig dingbat05/06/19
Handled like a seasoned vet. Touché. esquirewalletsmatter05/06/19
they r smart to use their diversity program to hire a multil whiteguyinchina05/03/19
I remember when I was doing OCI, one of the firms’ recruit dingbat05/03/19
So how much should we charge for taking these kids to school esquirewalletsmatter05/06/19
keep in mind these idjots don't even realize they've been sc dingbat05/06/19
Hahaha so true. 180 esquirewalletsmatter05/06/19
dingbat. i see it as a dumb vs stupid distinction. stupi whiteguyinchina05/07/19
I wholly agree with you dingbat05/07/19
Will be interesting to see what the follow up is on this. I cargo05/07/19
a fluent, speaking, reading, writing Mandarin speaker, just whiteguyinchina05/08/19
yeah, a friend of mine who was a native speaker in spanish w dingbat05/08/19
Maybe. I doubt she can practice Chinese law since she attend interveningrights05/08/19
why would she need to practice Chinese law? dingbat05/08/19
Was referring to post above about her finding a job back in interveningrights05/08/19

christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 3:31 am)

This message was sent yesterday (anonymously from an encrypted email account) to various attorneys at Holland & Knight addressed to a senior counsel at the EEOC office as well as the USCIS H1B fraud division.

I hadn't thought about it much but any hiring based on race in my mind is illegal, even for summer interns considering they receive taxable wages. Unlike university affirmative action where race can be one of many factors in the application decision, that is not true for employment. Thoughts?

***

Dear Mary Jo O’Neill and Amy Burkholder:

I am bringing to your attention both a Title VII and HIB violation regarding Holland & Knight’s Denver office, relating to their Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Program. I will specifically highlight two infractions (a Title VII and immigration violation) referring to Moqi Liu, who was hired in violation of Title VII as part of the firm’s LCLD Program during the summer of 2015. Her info from the firm’s website is:


https://www.hklaw.com/moqi-liu/

(San Francisco, T 415.743.6963, [email protected])


By way of background, Moqi Liu is an entry-level attorney in the firm’s financial services practice. There is no unique ability or skillset that she brings to the firm that countless other attorneys (who do not require visa sponsorship) do not possess. She entered the firm using a student visa during 2015 and 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law which is not a top law school by any stretch of the imagination. There are many graduates with much higher GPAs from her law school who are still seeking legal employment. There is also no shortage of attorneys from the very top schools who due to their national origin are excluded from Holland & Knight’s first year summer associate hiring due to being a member of the wrong race or national origin. In short, entry level attorneys are a dime a dozen and there was no compelling reason for Holland & Knight to discriminate in violation of Title VII by sponsoring a Chinese national as well filing a Labor Certification (LC) for Moqi Liu.


She currently works in Holland & Knight’s San Francisco office, and was hired solely due to racial and national origin considerations in violation of Title VII beginning during the summer of 2015. She is a Chinese national with a less than exceptional law school track record, and also required H1B visa sponsorship in order to join Holland & Knight in 2017 as a full-time associate. Holland & Knight’s LC for this employee is also illegal given there are many attorneys who do not require visa sponsorship who can perform her entry-level job. The USCIS H1B fraud department is cc’ed.


As you know quite well, Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. Merely describing or labeling employment as a “Diversity Program” does not in any way alter or amend the provisions of Title VII. Further, the prevailing standard for an LC to be granted is that there are no U.S. workers able, willing, qualified and available to accept the job at the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment, and that employment of the alien (Moqi Liu) will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. Currently there are thousands of unemployed law school graduates from the very best schools who are qualified and available to perform Moqi Liu’s job, who was brought in illegally in violation of Title VII and also illegally based on Holland & Knight’s fraudulent LC for this alien.


Irrespective of whether a summer associate or summer intern is labeled as a “Diverse Scholar”, the individual in that position receives a W-2 tax form and pays taxes on wages earned during their summer employment. The fact that summer employment with a law firm is limited in duration, does not in any way change the individual’s status as an employee. The IRS views an employee as someone that a business hires to do a specific job in exchange for paying the employee a wage. Thus labeling an employee as something other than an employee (Diverse Scholar, 1L Scholar) would not alter that employee’s status for the provisions of Title VII.

Unlike 2L hiring, Holland & Knight reserves 1L hiring solely for “diverse candidates”, meaning hiring based on race and national origin. Holland & Knight’s 1L program is not available for nonminority law students, in violation of Title VII. Many of the 1L summer associates return as 2L summer associates the following summer, in a legal environment where most law school graduates cannot find meaningful employment given the depressed economy and downsizing in law firm hiring. By bringing the 1L’s back as 2L summer associates, Holland & Knight attempts to throw off the scent of the initial Title VII violation during the 1L “diverse” summer considering that the individual is then part of a 2L class whose other members were hired based on merit and hard work.

Unlike large corporations, law firms have very limited hiring during the summer. Even large firms in regional markets like Denver may only have a summer class of two or three summer associates. As such, even reserving one spot (in violation of Title VII) for an individual based on their race and national origin constitutes a large percentage of the summer associate hiring pool to the detriment of individuals who do not fall into the racial quotas that Holland & Knight uses to hire for the program. More troubling and an issue to be addressed by USCIS and the Department of Labor is the Labor Certification that Holland & Knight is using to prove to the DOL that there are no available willing and qualified U.S. workers for Moqi Liu’s current entry-level law job.

In most cases, Title VII, prohibits employers from making decisions based on an applicant’s or employee’s protected status. The only legally recognized exception is when employers establish “affirmative action” plans based on a historical imbalance or disparity in the workforce.See Johnson v. Transp. Agency, Santa Clara Cnty., Cal.,480 U.S. 616 (1987). These plans are permissible when (1) preferences are intended to “eliminate conspicuous racial imbalances in traditionally segregated job categories”; (2) the rights of nonminority employees are “not unnecessarily trammeled”; and (3) the preferences are temporary in duration. United Steelworkers of Am. v. Weber, 443 U.S. 193 (1979).

Moqi Liu and other “Diverse Scholars” at Holland & Knight are paid a wage (usually equivalent to a first year associate salary) during the summer in exchange for performing a specific job. Holland & Knight’s LCLD program certainly “trammels” the rights of nonminority employees given that the program is specifically reserved for various racial and national origin buckets to the detriment of nonminority employees. These preferences are not limited in duration given that Holland & Knight hires through LCLD every year to the detriment of many law school students with stellar backgrounds who do not fall into the racial buckets that Holland & Knight uses for its diversity hiring. Thus, Holland & Knight could not defend LCLD under Johnson v. Transp. Agency. Title VII is crystal clear and unambiguous regarding illegal hiring based on race and national origin.


I’ve cc’ed the relevant parties. I look forward to hearing from you.


Shelly Feldman

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interveningrights (May 3, 2019 - 10:09 pm)

1.) Don't you have to file a charge with the EEOC within 180/300 days? Given that she was a 1L sometime in 2014/2015, that boat seems to have sailed.
2.) I'm not sure the diversity criteria is based on sex, race, color, national origin or religion. The postings for 2018 and 2019 just ask for a "diverse" candidate. At least with respect to the firms where I have been employed, diversity accounts for non-protected classes such as socio-economic status or miltary service. https://www.lcldnet.org/media/mce_filebrowser/2019/01/03/Holland_and_Knight_Philadelphia.pdf
3.) Holland and Knight self reported an associate pool comprised of ~74% caucasians, ~6% African Americans, ~6% Asians, ~10% Latino, and ~4% multi-racial/LGBT/decline to identify. The new hire pool was ~70% caucasians and the summer associate pool was ~54% caucasian. The remaining pools broke out as follows: equity partners - ~84% caucasian; of counsel - ~90% caucasian; non-equity partners ~84% caucasian. http://www.vault.com/media/3873294/1644.pdf

I would write more but the weekend starts now.

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qdllc (May 3, 2019 - 6:04 am)

It’s yes and no. A firm with a lack of American Indian attorneys might get hit on the angle of not having that minority represented, but the courts have come around on affirmative action and allow employers to require quality even if it excludes minorities. If a minority is turned down for a job where they are both qualified and a top contender, the complaint will likely get traction. If the minority was marginally qualified and better candidates applied, it’s more of an uphill battle. For attorneys, competency is tantamount. For jobs with less critical performance standards, employers can’t be as picky.

A local PD went to “double blind” hiring decades ago to get around the drawback of affirmative action (hiring solely because applicant is a minority). You’re just a number to them until you get to the oral board...and then it’s all videotaped. At that time, a final interview with the chief was the last step. They had minorities on the staff, but all had to beat out the competition to get the face to face interview.

At this time, it is a violation of Title VII to hire a minority over a more qualified white solely because of race. How much a local EEOC office will pursue such a complaint varies nationwide.

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fuckyouracists (May 3, 2019 - 8:44 am)

Not sure why that person is in Biglaw with that God awful, laughable summation. Don't think it's the diversity hiring that is her issue. It is her lack of skills.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 12:41 pm)

I looked at her firm profile. There is no Shelly Feldman at Holland & Knight so obviously the email was written anonymously.

There is indeed an associate named Moqi Liu who according to her profile interned at Holland & Knight during her 1L year. The only way to intern after 1L is through a diversity program which excludes many candidates based on race.

It seems she is only there due to diversity hiring.

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bigsal (May 7, 2019 - 11:43 am)

Native americans are trickier under these laws than most attorneys realize. Id use another analogy

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 12:37 pm)

But it's worth a shot right? Whether an EEOC will pursue a claim and whether a policy violates Title VII are separate issues.

The issue with 1L "diversity hiring" is that huge numbers of candidates are excluded because of their race. If a "diversity program" seeks only "people of color" thereby excluding thousands of qualified applicants who are not "of color", I think that would be an easy win against the firm in District Court.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 12:45 pm)

Worth a shot? I mean, whoever sent the letter is not going to gain anything by it, so not sure what shot you mean. I bet it's someone with a personal vendetta against Liu or someone that's just very jealous.

As to the claim, here are the problems:

1) The diversity program is a part of overall hiring. If all hiring was just "people of color" I think a very strong case exist, but it's not, a small percentage goes to diversity and they usually hire people that are equal to the rest.

2) Whatever the letter in the OP says aside, someone with Mandarin and Japanese skills that graduates in the top 25% (guessing) of their class at a strong regional T1 school is someone that does have a shot and does get hired at firms like H&K, particularly in secondary markets like Denver. It's not like they hired bottom of the class at Cooley here. So they didn't hire someone at the exclusion of others, they hired someone that matched the skills of others that they do hire. https://www.hklaw.com/offices/denver/professionals/ look at those profiles, Baylor, UC, Denver.. some Law Review/Moot Court, but mostly just people that were likely in the top 25% and interviewed well.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 1:10 pm)

You're missing the key legal issues. The hiring IS just "people of color". Most 1L hiring at firms is for "diverse candidates" to the detriment of non-diverse candidates, diverse meaning racial diversity or national origin diversity. Moqi entered Holland & Knight through the firm's 1L diversity program according to the author.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion, national origin, race, color, or sex. PERIOD

It is irrelevant whether the diversity program is based in part on overall hiring, because the plaintiff would only need to demonstrate he or she individually was excluded because of race or national origin. These 1L programs, particularly the one the author mentioned often advertise that they are only available to those who fit a certain racial profile. If an entire racial class of candidates is excluded from applying to a 1L program based on race, that smells like a big fat Title VII violation.

Because summer interns receive taxable wages, the firm could also not defend on the grounds that summer hiring falls outside the scope of Title VII.

Nothing in her profile mentions "Mandarin or Japanese skills" but it would not matter because while 1L's get paid associate rates over the summer, there is nothing assigned to them that they are actually responsible for completing. Without an active bar license, summer associates at large firms are delegated tasks like legal research, proofread this motion, prepare for firm mock trial event..etc. There was no unique skill set she brought that 1L year that many excluded candidates could not bring. I would highly doubt the Denver office needed someone with Mandarin skills, rather the Denver office was looking for "diverse candidates" when they recruited at the two local Colorado law schools.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 1:21 pm)

Her credentials dont make her a crazy candidate. Looks to me like the diversity program brought her to the attention of the firm but she was hired based on credentials similar to others at the firm (in the lower range but not unqualified in relation to her peers).

I can see more of a H1B issue but language skills are in the profile, FYI.

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fuckyouracists (May 3, 2019 - 1:54 pm)

Please don't do Civil Rights Litigation, Op. Case is a loser. The person that wrote the letter has poor legal research and writing skills to boot. I'd focus on oneself instead of this individual that's qualified for her position. I think whomever wrote the letter would find the glaring deficiencies in her legal acumen if she can practice some self awareness. Vast majority of baby lawyers are fungible. Plug and place. They have no special skill sets and cost way more in expenses then they bring in. Glorified law clerks. Word to the wise, rude awakenings await thee if you can't smell what I'm cooking here since my best guess is you have some involvement or knowledge as to this letter. You simply care too much or it otherwise hits too close to home. Either way, the aforesaid remains the same.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 3:02 pm)

Poor writing skills says "f*ckyouracists". Interesting.

I have no knowledge of the letter other than that is raises an interesting legal question. Thus far, there has not been one response with a compelling legal argument other than the meaningless drivel posted by $45k/year failed attorneys with no hope for a successful career in law.

If you claim to have strong writing skills, cobble together a succinct legal argument either for or against law firm diversity hiring addressing the specific language of Title VII.

Maybe you can dig yourself out of the hole you are in and make a career as a plaintiff's attorney defending the rights of law graduates or any university graduate for that matter whose candidacy was excluded based on race.

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fuckyouracists (May 3, 2019 - 3:12 pm)

I don't have to explain anything because I'm an important individual and doing well for myself, son. People report to me, not the other way around. Those days are long behind me. Focus on yourself and leave the woman alone. She may have spurned you or a friend. She may have gotten the position over you. Maturity goes a long way in this game. So does understanding the bigger picture. This isn't a classroom and I'm not the professor from the Paper Chase. The claim will likely fail under McDonnell Douglas. Do some research and write me up a memo. Remember to CC: The Dome.

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 12:49 pm)

There is the law, the practice, and the political climate.

While I think legally speaking these claims may have some merit. I don't see any action being taken due to current practices and the politcal climate.

Also... Nobody is shedding a year over some anon being butthurt about not getting biglaw.

A change in this issue would require a very sympathetic "victim."

Also naming the girl like this is in poor taste. Go after names partners who supervise the charade. But the letter's author it appears is more concerned about punish this individual woman, not the real people behind the system.

It is kinda pathetic.

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irishlaw (May 3, 2019 - 9:45 am)

During law school I had a call back interview at Holland & Knights SF office. I never got a response after the interview...figure I was to white.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 3, 2019 - 11:42 am)

Yeah. That must be it. Cannot be any other explanation. Lots of snowflakes in this profession.

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therewillbeblood (May 3, 2019 - 9:45 am)

Wait, was it anonymous, or was it Shelly Feldman?

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 9:53 am)

This ain't just a biglaw issues. Corporations do the same. I don't see how it is a discrimination isssue. An employer can hire people for any reason as long as it is not discriminatory. I never heard of diversity programs being labeled as discrimatory since it is a small fraction of the entire pool. I am sure that girl comes from a wealthy family and will likely be able to make it rain. All of biglaw hires from overseas that I saw fit this mold. They are hired for access to their parents and their friends. Which is a legitimate business reason lol

Nobody gives a that's ass about her national origin or race. Just money.

I think letter writer is salty to find how the cookie really crumbles in the US.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 12:48 pm)

Taxamnesty - It is not "a small fraction of the entire pool". Most law firms in regional markets (even Biglaw) might only have three or four candidates in their office during the summer. In markets like Denver, it is not uncommon to only see just one 1L summer associate in the office. Even giving one spot away constitutes a large percentage of the hiring pool. And this Moqi did not attend a T14 school or even a T38 school...

Corporations are not law firms. Law firms are partnerships with much different hiring structures and limited capacity to hire. Think about how many qualified candidates were turned down are not eligible to apply for 1L internships because they are not "diverse".

It is certainly a discrimination issue.

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 12:53 pm)

I have yet to hear of a single successful claim of reverse discrimination getting any action in the courts.

At best this is a novel legal concept. As I said above, it is unlikely to be entertained seriously by anyone, esp in this context.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 1:22 pm)

For the purposes of Title VII, there is only discrimination, and no such thing as "forward" or "reverse" discrimination. I am more interested in the legal arguments, not whether the EEOC would investigate or whether a far-left judge would be "entertained" by the lawsuit. A conservative judge would be...

The reason there have been very few claims against law firms in court is that the individual rightfully fears retaliation or getting blacklisted even before their legal career begins. That doesn't mean the practice is legal, only that the plaintiff fears the repercussions of getting screwed in the legal market, smeared on websites like Abovethelaw and also the cost of suing a firm with deep pockets.

Most folks on jdunderground got screwed and could certainly perform Moqi's entry-level job.Imagine if everyone here had a chance to apply for 1L positions only reserved for certain racial buckets. I'm one of the few here who works in Biglaw (not at Holland & Knight) and can tell you summer associate work at law firms is a joke and clients will not pay for it. Most of it is written off even though summer associates technically bill hours (for practice).

In sum, while I think the email was mean-spiritied, 1L programs that discriminate based on race violates the clear language of Title VII. Whether someone will sue is another story.

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 3:01 pm)

That's a novel position without any legal precedent. As other have pointed, the h1b abuse is a more legit case. If you are stand by your analysis, go ahead and ride for it too.

But jdu seems to think that this is a nonstarter.

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dingbat (May 3, 2019 - 3:43 pm)

Those firefighters in Mew Haven Connecticut, about a decade ago.

20 white firefighters sued for reverse discrimination, and the city ended up settling for $2m plus legal fees.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 10:41 am)

If she was top quarter of her class at UC then I don't see this as a Title VII issue, but could be an immigration one.

She lists Dean List 2015-2017, so assuming she got into the dean's list at least every other semester during that period, it's likely she is at least top 15%, which does give people at regionally strong schools a shot at BIGLAW. I don't see the problem from that perspective.

Needing to fill out a labor cert for her does seem odd unless she has been working on cases that require her language abilities in Japanese and Mandarin. I'm not saying the firm NEEDED this, but it's a good cover. We need a "top legal researcher with ability to read Japanese and/or mandarin documents with native-like fluency" seems like it would satisfy the labor cert requirements.

She probably knows someone, and this is more about scoring a diversity point while allowing the family member of a client/heavy hitting partner to come on board. To me, it looks like they are able to check all the boxes to make it kosher.

Whoever sent this is a POS, IMO. Unless she was was like bottom 50% of her class (which doesn't appear to be the case) only guess this is someone with a personal vendetta against her or a real a-hole. I dont see anything outrageous enough here where I'd go out of my way to try to scream a first year associate like this.

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therewillbeblood (May 3, 2019 - 10:53 am)

Also, Holland and Knight just isn't prestigious enough to justify the resentment of the author. It ain't exactly Skadden or Cravath.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 12:52 pm)

But think about the resentment of all the law school grads who attended better universities who do not need visa sponsorship and remain unemployed.

Holland & Knight pays associates close to Skadden rates at the 1st year to third year associate payscale, and whats more annoying is that this foreigner (alien) enjoyed that salary in a livable city. Many Skadden, Cravath associates would do anything to leave NY and raise a family in Biglaw in a regional market with affordable living.

No reason for a law firm to hire an alien from thousands of miles away when there are many candidates from top schools closeby. I looked at this Moqi's profile and nothing stands out as exceptional.

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 12:55 pm)

This is how it always has been... Did you just crawl out from under some middle of nowhere rock?

This is no such thing as fair. Biglaw does as it pleases and they mostly get away with breaking the law too. Grow up.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 3:14 pm)

Taxamnesty - It is not about what is fair or unfair, it is about what is legal or illegal. Didn't you take legal writing your first year in law school!?

I crawled out of a rock at NYU and work in BigLaw. I doubt you do. True, maybe I shouldn't be using my vacation time to post on jdunderground, but occasionally I like to throw a bone to those law graduates or JD Advantage individuals who have ample time on their hands to conduct legal research.

Biglaw usually does not break the law, only when it comes to hiring is there a compelling case that Biglaw might be in hot water with Title VII.

If the best legal argument you can muster is "grow up", you have no chance at a successful career in law. Why don't you take a trip to a law school library, hop on Westlaw, and research disparate impact, Title VII, diversity hiring. I'm all ears for any compelling legal argument, either for or against diversity hiring, but your comments are puerile and not at all relevant to the original post.

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taxamnesty (May 3, 2019 - 3:22 pm)

Are you attempting to shame people into doing legal search for you?

Quit trolling.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 12:58 pm)

"But think about the resentment of all the law school grads who attended better universities who do not need visa sponsorship and remain unemployed."

Boo Hoo. You aren't hired in law based solely on grades and school. It's a strong indicator, but if that was the only thing we looked at we'd just use a formulate like (coefficient/(school rank)*(class rank)).

Language skills can be sufficient for labor cert if the position demands it... it just can't be an arbitrary requirement. She's got 2.

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therewillbeblood (May 3, 2019 - 1:08 pm)

She's in San Francisco. The very definition of non-affordable living.

And she speaks three languages, which stands out to me. It's also possible she's well-connected, which is absolutely a benefit to the firm.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 3:21 pm)

therewillbeblood (great movie by the way), she is in SF now but according to the post, started as a 1L in Denver. There are hundreds of law grads in that market with top grades, law review experience and happen to be white that are excluded from 1L programs.

I would have a hard time believing a firm in Denver focuses on any Asian work and to the extent they do, an Asian client would not pay billables for a 1L summer associate.

Title VII doesn't care about "well-connected", "speaks three languages", "affordability". It is quite simple, employment discrimination based on race and national origin is illegal, so on what grounds can a "diversity program" defend itself when it excludes based on racial and national origin buckets?

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therewillbeblood (May 3, 2019 - 4:47 pm)

"Title VII doesn't care about "well-connected", "speaks three languages", "affordability". It is quite simple, employment discrimination based on race and national origin is illegal, so on what grounds can a "diversity program" defend itself when it excludes based on racial and national origin buckets?"

Well it does, because if there is a reason other than race or national origin you don't have a Title VII claim. China and Japan are economic powerhouses.

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williamdrayton (May 3, 2019 - 12:10 pm)

LOL. so in a nutshell, somebody is butthurt that the AZN eye candy with foreign language skills got a biglaw job over thousands of "more qualified" candidates.

as taxamnesty alluded above, somebody who knows the west coast biglaw market please opine: arent' firms aggressively seeking business in Asia or at least business with US companies that operate in Asia? if so, an Asian associate who is a native speaker and connections is going to have a distinct advantage.

personally not my cup of tea, but I'm sure many of the middle-aged dudes in the office don't mind having Ms. Liu around.

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interveningrights (May 3, 2019 - 1:03 pm)

^ - Yes, West Coast firms have been aggressively seeking business from Asian clients for a while now. The West Coast also has a disproportionately large/heavily concentrated Asian population as compared with the rest of the United States. Generally, firms here do not need to skimp on the credentials to get Asian associates as there is a significant candidate pool from local lawschools such as Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, etc....

There are other factors for hiring a H1B attorney. At my prior firms, H1B attorneys were not paid the saame market rates as regular associates. The H1B attorneys also have a harder time leaving due to the visa sponsorship issue.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 12:59 pm)

Whoever sent this is an awfully petty, childish, envious, sad person. Just my thought.


Singling out someone like this seems awfully personal. Why not do it publicly (not anonymously) or work to change the system, campaign on the issues instead of trying to basically screw over an individual?

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 1:30 pm)

The email was forwarded to me by a colleague of mine at Holland. Apparently it was sent to hundreds of attorneys, so technically it qualifies as an advocacy campaign.

Working to change the system would mean suing a large firm in district court over their illegal, diversity hiring based on race and national origin.

That's why I posted the article hoping the responses would concern legal arguments around the language of Title VII. A judge would toss a legal brief with the language "petty, childish, envious, sad..." No legal arguments there.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 1:35 pm)

Show us a document, email or sound statistical analysis that shows she was hired for diversity reasons, and I'll bite.

Otherwise, what I see here is someone with credentials on par with many at H&K being hired and then being labeled a "diversity" candidate. Yeah, she got hired over "better" candidates, but so what? That happens ALL THE TIME in biglaw hiring.

The bigger issue might be the H1B, but maybe those questions are easily answered by reading their Form 9089 and the supporting documentation. It's kind of silly to sit here and try to guess what it is they claimed.

Also, as far as legal analysis, who is going to sue? You'd pretty much have to be offered and then rescinded in favor of her to have some kind of claim, otherwise I think most people's claims would be too remote considering she isn't actually unqualified and H&S has probably hired US, non-minority candidates with similar credentials.

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williamdrayton (May 3, 2019 - 2:02 pm)

as super-t mentions, who has standing here?

especially given that the girl easily meets any bona fide occupational requirement, which is law school graduation and subsequent bar passage. for Title VII purposes, you get in some muddy waters if you start arguing that one candidate is "better" than another because of US News rankings, as long as the candidates meet the baseline.

I'm not aware of any court invalidating any type of private sector "diversity" clerk/intern program. if the firm excluded whites from associate hiring, then you may have a different situation. But under the current circumstances, you would have to prove that the ONLY way to get hired as an associate is through the 1L clerkship program, which I'm sure is not true

the vast majority of Title VII cases are brought by people who already have a job and there's a reason for that - they are much easier to litigate from an employee's perspective. bringing a case for not being hired is a mighty uphill climb except in public sector jobs that rely on seniority schedules and/or civil service testing. (something along the lines of New Haven firefighters)

as others have pointed out before me, the personal animosity of this complaint makes it very suspect. why couldn't the writer just make a general allegation about hiring practices without targeting a particular person? that's like Abby Fisher stating in her SCOTUS brief, "Jorge Ramos from Plano got into UT with a 2.0 GPA and 800 SAT, but I was rejected"

now I'm wondering if Ms. Liu rejected somebody's romantic overture so the loser dude is looking for any way to tarnish her reputation.

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fuckyouracists (May 3, 2019 - 2:33 pm)

Yup.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 2:42 pm)

Williamdrayton, any individual who applies for the 1L position and is turned down has standing.

Many firms advertise that the programs are for URMs. If an individual simply calls the diversity recruiter and is told the 1L program is strictly for diverse candidates, there is absolute standing given an entire class of candidates is excluded based on race or national origin.

A court has not invalidated a program because there have been no lawsuits as of yet challenging the programs. Most graduates just want a job and do not want to be blacklisted in the market or serve as a crusader for other individual's rights. Also, new graduates do not yet have the resources to launch expensive lawsuits. Suing a law firm would be very costly. Many of the traditional free legal support services such as the ACLU have become corrupt arms of the Democratic party allocating most of their resources to immigration asylum cases and have avoided controversial free speech or affirmative action cases all together.

Your argument regarding college affirmative action (Jorge Ramos) is unpersuasive and unrelated to Title VII. Whereas college can take race into account along with many other factors, there is no similar rule for company hiring.

The plain language of Title VII precludes the use of race and national origin in hiring decisions. It is not as you say that one candidate is better than another candidate, rather it is that an entire group of candidates is excluded based on race.

Most Title VII cases are a he-said she-said game and it is hard to establish the employer discriminated based on race in the hiring decision. But with 1L diversity programs, the firms outright advertise that the program is for candidates of one race but not another, rolling out a red carpet during potential the discovery phase of future plaintiff's lawsuit.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 2:47 pm)

I think you're missing the legal arguments altogether. Without working at Holland, obviously I don't have access to their employee document pool. Moqi's LinkedIn indicates she worked at Holland & Knight her first summer and Holland only hires "diverse candidates" after 1L year as part of their LCLD program which excludes an entire class of candidates based on race. Put two and two together, "a Chinese national", "person of color", summers at Holland after 1L year..the only way this was possible was due to the LCLD program.

The original post does not care about Moqi, rather my question relates to is diversity hiring at law firms illegal or legal given that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer with 15 or more employees to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee because of their race/color, national origin, sex, or religion.

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dingbat (May 3, 2019 - 3:52 pm)

Sorry Chris Thomas, but you’re missing a major point.

Law firms are not stupid. It’s called a diversity program, not a minority program, and the language of those programs are written in such a way that diversity is not limited by Titke VII. At least some of those programs even go out of their way to describe ways a candidate can be diverse that is not based on race (eg a white American who grew up abroad).

Just because no white American ever applies to those diversity programs, doesn’t mean they couldn’t get in.

That’s enough to support a motion for summary judgment on this nothingburger

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 4:44 pm)

Your arguments are "dingbat". Appropriate user name fortunately. Let's peruse through an example and tease this out.

For example, take a look at https://www.bakerlaw.com/diversity/firmdiversityscholarship

This illegal program at Baker Hostetler specifically excludes white people in violation of Title VII

"The Paul D. White Scholarship is awarded annually to law students of
The Paul D. White Scholarship is awarded annually to law students of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native descent. The scholarship includes a paid summer clerkship and a $7,500 cash award.. The scholarship includes a paid summer clerkship and a $7,500 cash award."

Similar to many firms, this program attempts to circumvent Title VII by labeling summer employment as a "Scholarship". This program, in all of its lunacy, clearly specifies what racial buckets are permitted to apply. "Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native descent.."

Yet, a paid summer clerkship would fall under the clear guidelines of Title VII. Amending the name of "employment" to "scholarship" does not change how the program functions, namely to pay limited duration employees a taxable wage who are there because of their race and national origin. It is not that a white American is not permitted to apply, it's that this illegal hiring specifically excludes white people and other individuals who do not fall into the program's racial buckets.

I am glad you learned the term "summary judgment" in CivPro, but I don't see the relevancy here. Title VII would clearly prohibit employment based on Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native descent. This Program at Baker prohibits thousands of students from applying who do not fall into the program's racial buckets. "white American who grew up abroad" would not be permitted to apply in violation of Title VII. Baker Hostetler is just an example but there are many more.

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williamdrayton (May 3, 2019 - 4:52 pm)

i wasn't sure if OP was serious or not. his insults about $45k attorneys yet at the same time demanding that the same allegedly stupid provide free legal research makes me wonder if he is just trolling.

good luck proving that an internship program that is clearly NOT the exclusive means of associate hiring is discriminatory.

regardless of the parameters of the 1L summer program, I could easily imagine a court determining that those positions are not "employment" for Title VII purposes, even though they are employment for purposes of FLSA, Social Security taxes, IRS withholding etc. If I was HK, I would argue that there is no direct linkage between participation in the summer program and an offer of full-time employment. I would then trot out the list of associates in the same class who were hired through other means.

my reference to Abby Fisher was clearly not an attempt to analogize the constitutionality of college admissions and private employment. it was regarding the incredibly personal nature of the initial complaint by Shelly Feldman - stop picking fights with strawmen
as others have said, let it go and move on to worrying about yourself and not the person down the hall.

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christhomas36 (May 3, 2019 - 5:19 pm)

williamdrayton - I don't know if you have ever worked for a big firm. I'll give the brief rundown coming from someone who ran the summer program one year.

Entry level hiring at large firms is EXCLUSIVELY from the summer associate pool. Large firms make projections based on headcount two years before the candidate is expected to join full time: (2L would interview during OCI in August 2016, Summer during May - July 2017, graduate from law school in May 2018, take the Bar in July 2018, and start at the firm in October 2018 when 2018 Bar results are released). The candidate ranks their practice groups in order of preference once given an offer to join the firm.

Because it is very difficult to forecast hiring needs two years in advance, firms are extremely selective on the summer pool as it is expected that all summer associates will receive full time offers. With 1L hiring, it is assumed the diverse candidate will return to the 2L summer pool the following summer. Regional markets for large firms like Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, may only have one or two 2L spots during the summer meaning a returning 1L diverse candidate takes up a huge percentage of the very limited spots available.

The internship program, known as Summer Associate Program in Biglaw IS the exclusive means of hiring full-time. Your argument that an individual is an employee for one purpose but not another is bogus and there is no case on point supporting your claim that employment for purposes of the IRS is not employment for purposes of Title VII. Because many summer associates bill their time, a law firm would need to report billables revenue for tax purposes as part of its income stream, irrespective of whether the billable is charged by a full time or summer associate. Even for summer associates who do not bill their time, law firms pay summer associates a high first year associate salary, which is relevant for tax purposes.

Even assuming arguendo, the summer associate program is not the exclusive means of hiring, that would not defend against a Title VII claim. Any paid intern in a company of 15 or more employees is considered an employee during their duration of employment. Your comment about a linkage between summer employment is not relevant for Title VII. Whether or not an individual progresses in their career, comes back to the company, joins another company is completely irrelevant. An individual excluded based on their race from applying to a firm would have a Title VII claim.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 3, 2019 - 5:33 pm)

Congratulations you understand the first prong of McDonnell Douglas. Good job. A gold star for you since that’s what you’re looking for ITT. What about the rest, Ace? Dingbat is correct. The claim gets booted on SJ for prong 2 bc there are legitimate non discriminatory reasons for pursuing qualified diverse hires.

What’s going to be funny is when the woman who is the subject of the letter kicks the shyt out of you in Court.

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dingbat (May 3, 2019 - 6:11 pm)

Oh, before I forget, the summer associate program is not the exclusive means of hiring.

1st, there’s no guarantee of a 1L summer getting invited back, second these no guarantee of a 2L getting an offer.

Law firms regularly mess up thies forecast, and will hire additional new grads (preferably poaching from another SA program)

Plenty of firms end up hiring laterals with experience a few years down the line. Or even a few months.

In minor markets, some firms don’t have a summer program at all and exclusively hire laterals. Or they may have a summer program but not hire anyone (see eg Texas 1L summer programs).

You’re building your argument on a fallacy.

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dingbat (May 3, 2019 - 6:00 pm)

Thanks for linking to Baker Hostetler. But, instead of looking at their scholarship program, try looking at their diversity fellowship, which is quite different.
The diversity fellowship says it’s open to any student.

You’re talking about the best law firms in the country. You’d have to be really arrogant to think you can outsmart them so easily on something so simple even a caveman can do it!

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rachels763 (May 3, 2019 - 7:04 pm)

dingbat and esquirewalletsmatter,

Both of your responses omit key legal arguments. It is surprising how many people on here just rant and tiptoe around ideas that make them uncomfortable. christhomas36 is mostly correct regarding biglaw hiring. diversity programs may claim to be open to any student but in reality are carved out based on racial quotas.

I'll provide the L&E perspective as I doubt any here practices law. It is shocking that no one thus far mentioned strict scrutiny, the gold legal standard a reviewing court would assess P's claim if D were a government entity. Under strict scrutiny, the burden of proof switches to the defendant when racial classifications are involved.

The hallmark of strict scrutiny is that the employer (if a government entity) must choose the least restrictive means of achieving its compelling objective. When an entity that receives federal funding implements a minority- exclusive program such a s diversity program, it will generally be subject to strict scrutiny.

By way of example, in order to be deemed valid, race is generally only “a” factor, not “the” factor in an affirmative action program. A minority-only program, makes race “the” factor. As such, such programs may not pass the scrutiny, unless an entity is able to show that the program is essentially the only way to redress a past discriminatory issue. The entity must show that the environment was caused by its own past actions and was not a result of general societal discrimination. This would be a very hard burden for the government program to meet, given that there are many less restrictive ways of achieving diversity, e.g., recruiting from universities with a large percentage of minority candidates instead of excluding an entire class of individuals based on race as Baker and Holland's program seem to do. Likely, any government run diversity program using the same criteria that firms do would be ruled unconstitutional if challenged in court. As christhomas36 mentioned, these suits are very expensive to bring and can be detrimental to one's career. No one wants to be the poster child for a SCOTUS decision eliminating diversity programs in their entirety.

Here, law firms are private entities, but during oral arguments, an appellate judge would certainly ask the defendant law firm GC if there are less restrictive ways of achieving racial diversity rather than excluding an entire classification of candidates based on race. In some ways, Title VII is even more restrict than strict scrutiny given there is very little wiggle room in the plain language of the statute for discriminating based on race, even if race is just one factor.

McDonnell Douglas may be relevant but I feel a few posters here just name dropped it the first Google case that popped up when searching Title VII cases. McDonnell Douglas is distinguishable on several grounds, namely that the most important aspect of the McDonnell ruling is the creation of a framework for the decision of Title VII cases where there is only relatively INDIRECT EVIDENCE as to whether an employment action was discriminatory in nature.

Most big law firms are pretty concise and direct in establish criteria for their diversity programs, such as the link posted to Baker's program which clearly excludes based on race and national origin.

Moreover, esquirewalletsmatter cursory analysis of McDonnell that "The claim gets booted on SJ for prong 2 bc there are legitimate non discriminatory reasons for pursuing qualified diverse hires" fails without merit. Legitimacy is in the eye of the beholder and very few judges even under far-left jurisprudence, would conclude that diversity programs that exclude based on race are "legitimate" merely because certain groups of individuals believe they are unrepresented at firms.

What if an employer refused to hire black employees because she believed blacks cause disproportionately more crime than whites citing DOJ statistics and therefore make poor employees.? Her view might be legitimate under her own assessment of the facts, but a court would look at a high-level, macroscopic analysis of what "legitimate" means. Name-dropping McDonnell doesn't get vary far here.

Any P bringing a challenge against a firm's diversity program would survive SJ because a reasonable fact finder could disagree with the moving party (law firm) on many grounds, for one, that Title VII prohibits hiring based on race.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 3, 2019 - 7:39 pm)

Your attacks are rather cute. Had a nice chuckle. I haven’t laughed that hard since I was a little school girl.

Lots of words there to say so little. Tryna pad those hours? Lol. Nevertheless, diversity encompasses far more than race. Nothing is excluding an applicant solely on the basis of being white. There is no evidence of any quota or anything else preventing a qualified applicant from being hired as an attorney after one meets the requirements to become one. Indeed, there’s no evidence present about their alleged hiring process that’s not hearsay. There’s no discriminatory intent to prevent entitled whites from being hired at the firm. What’s present is a qualified woman who speaks multiple languages that happen to be in high demand in her city, especially her practice area. Business is a booming in her particular market focus.

The firm has a diversity push to attract law students. Allows them to cast a broader net to find those with skills the firm needs. She catches their eye. She later becomes an attorney for the firm after passing the BAR because she performed over a period of years and has skill sets clients need/demand. The program served a legitimate non discriminatory purpose. I’d even say a reasonable economic purpose since it furthers the interests of their clients and the firm for relatively little cost. They exercised sound business judgment. Casting that net worked out rather well. Her practice and clientele are highly complimentary. Smart move. Better business decision than hiring the OP or yourself for that matter.

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superttthero (May 3, 2019 - 8:02 pm)

I think the biggest lol was at the end saying that a legal interpretation of Title VII is a "fact question."

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rachels763 (May 3, 2019 - 11:18 pm)

esquirewalletsmatter - What attack? Unpersuasive arguments annoy me, and they also annoy judges.

Your fixation on Moqi is odd. The post refers to diversity hiring at law firms in general. Perhaps Moqi's language skills were part of the equation. We'll never know, and her profile doesn't mention any Asian work. If a firm wants an Asian candidate who requires visa sponsorship, then put her in China. No need to bring someone from thousands of miles away, especially Red China. Whether her language abilities were part of the mix is not relevant, because Title VII does not permit decisions in part based on race either.

Most "diverse candidates" are black or Latino. Are they hired for their language abilities?? The only reason Moqi came into the picture is because the anonymous email sent to H&K singled out that employee. Christhomas86's post asks whether diversity programs violate Title VII, and there are compelling legal arguments that hiring based on race is illegal, particularly with a statute on point.

The issue isn't whether there's no discriminatory intent to prevent whites from being hired at the firm, the issue is whether there is discriminatory intent with a summer program that clearly excludes certain racial buckets. "The Paul D. White Scholarship [Baker Hostetler] is awarded annually to law students of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native descent." Is there a similar program for candidates of white descent?? If not, then that is prima facie discrimination.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 4, 2019 - 7:13 am)

Yawn. Get at me when you graduate law school...

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dingbat (May 4, 2019 - 9:02 am)

You keep ignoring a key point.
Baker Hostetler has a "scholarship" Program, and a "Diversity Fellowship".
There is a reason why these are different, and have different terms.

There are a lot of factors that go into whether an internship is or is not employment for purposes of Title VII, such as Piotrowski vs Barat, Nationwide v Darden, Cuddeback v Florida Dept of Ed, etc. (I'm no expert in the field, so I'm just citing a handful of cases I've seen that discuss the matter - just saying it's complicated - there are a gazillion factors that go into the analysis).

While L&E is not my forte, I do know how large firms operate, and I'm sure they've run these programs by their L&E attorneys. I have full faith that Baker Hostetler has internal memos providing in-depths analysis and explanations as to why the Scholarship program, which has racial limitations, is an educational opportunity, whereas the Diversity Program, which is open to anyone, would be considered employment.
As such, Baker Hostetler is not violating Title VII with their race-based scholarship program, but would be violating Title VII if their diversity program had a race-based limitation.

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fuckyouracists (May 4, 2019 - 9:47 am)

Which, again, is why diversity encompasses more than race. We're wasting our time here. They're working backwards from the answer they want bootstrapping for a solution while grasping for straws, it just is not going to work. They're still stuck on prima facie claim prior to the evidentiary shift, which employer satisfies via legitimate non-discriminatory reasons underlying the eventual hiring decision. They won't be able to prove pretext given the complete absence of any discriminatory intent. Haven't litigated in what, four-five years now and could do this with my eyes closed. The problem is the kid simply does not understand how things actually work in practice. Yet another reason for those in-house to consider the smaller firms outside certain partners since these biglaw associates are often dogshyt. Never get real experience until it's about that time to get pushed out. Not worth the cost in my experience except for particular, specialized niche issues. I'd farm this out to dingbat for half the cost and a superior result.

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dingbat (May 6, 2019 - 10:43 am)

I don't want to derail, but I disagree about biglaw associates being dogshyt. it's a different skill-set. Plenty of companies spread their work out between biglaw, midlaw, and small-law, and it's not just about costs. Large insurance companies, for example, will use small-law for home & auto insurance defense, midlaw for Labor & Employment and reinsurance agreements, as well as maybe environmental claims, and biglaw for M&A, CAT bonds, Regulatory matters, and large commercial claims.

Even if we're focused just on litigation, it's a completely different world.
For retail insurance defense of maybe a few hundred thousand dollars, you want people who can churn out case after case as efficiently as possible, who can reach a settlement or wind their way through the court system quickly. On the other hand, for a multi-billion dollar coverage, you'll want a team of lawyers who can delay every step of the way, even if just to win a war of attrition. The team needs to review every little fact, research every possible law, regulation, or case history, because when there's that much money at stake, the tiniest little thing can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even after that, the terms of settlement can make a huge difference - on a billion dollars, at today's overnight bank funding rate, every single day is about $65k interest. Your average small=law attorney wouldn't even consider that changing one word in the settlement from "funds must be received by" to "funds must be sent by" can mean more than that attorney makes in a year.

I appreciate your confidence in farming this matter out to me, but I'd probably defer, as it's not my area of expertise. But whenever I'm dealing with other attorneys, what I consider to be my key skill, is to be able to quickly figure out whether I'm smarter or dumber than the other attorney (which has nothing to do with biglaw vs small-law), and/or more knowledgeable in certain areas, and to use that to my advantage. No point trying to outsmart someone who's smarter than me, but that doesn't mean I can't work them over a different way.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 6, 2019 - 11:13 am)

It’s the lack of experience that often shows. Lots of hand holding in substantive matters but they don’t realize that to be the case. They place way too much importance upon themselves instead of sitting back and learning. The point is just because you went to a good law school and got big law means nothing in terms of actual practice as this thread shows. But you are right. I’ll edit my point to apply to those that are not humble or mature enough to realize the aforesaid.

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dingbat (May 6, 2019 - 5:27 pm)

I had that a lot with ibankers who would be all high and mighty because they worked for the big ibank. As an example, the company I was with at the time, the GC had been partner in a biglaw firm, and some snot-nose analyst was trying to explain legal matters to her.
On another project, the ibank had outsourced certain work to us because the VP knew his staff would probably screw it up. the analyst that was supposed to supervise my work basically never bothered, and once asked me to redo 6 months' worth of work. I wrote a detailed letter explaining that I'd already done the work, why the redo was unnecessary, how it exceeded the scope of our engagement, and that I'd be more than willing for an appropriate fee. I CCed her boss, and she got canned that week.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 6, 2019 - 6:14 pm)

Handled like a seasoned vet. Touché.

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whiteguyinchina (May 3, 2019 - 8:06 pm)

they r smart to use their diversity program to hire a multilingual multicultural lawyer.

obviously it upsets people to see someone whose second or third language is english competing on the same level or even getting preference, but Mandarin fluent US barred lawyers are much rarer than the native English speaker from a good school lawyer.

she likely attends meetings with FOB china clients and charms them while the partners talk about their firms commitment to Asia and ask her to give her opinion on cultural nuances.

then the monolingual lawyers write the memos or research or go to court or whatever. then the Mandarin speaking lawyer comes back to explain the work the local lawyers did to the client. maybe at that meeting, the local lawyer is brought in to talk about details if needed.

you can get upset about the process or discrimination or whatnot. maybe she has relations with the partners? maybe she can bring in business?

but clearly she brings something others do not. better focus on what that is, and improve yourself rather than focus on the fungible skills you bring /research? writing? /and find your own niche.

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dingbat (May 3, 2019 - 10:06 pm)

I remember when I was doing OCI, one of the firms’ recruiters told me during a candid moment that if they came across a candidate that spoke Mongolian, he/she would get hired no matter the grades or the law school.

They apparently were doing enough business there and needed someone who spoke the language

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 6, 2019 - 8:08 am)

So how much should we charge for taking these kids to school?

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dingbat (May 6, 2019 - 10:50 am)

keep in mind these idjots don't even realize they've been schooled.

To me there's nothing worse than a dumb/ignorant person who's convinced he/she is right. They must think they're so clever uncovering something so obvious nobody could possibly have missed it. But hey, I hear the global flat-earth society is looking for new members

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 6, 2019 - 11:10 am)

Hahaha so true.

180

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whiteguyinchina (May 7, 2019 - 7:37 am)

dingbat. i see it as a dumb vs stupid distinction.

stupid people by definition think they are not stupid and are stubborn. that's their main quality. they think they know better but they don't. that's why they are stupid.

anyone who listens to reason is not stupid.

now you can be dumb as in low IQ or just slow. but a dumb person need not be stupid if they have self awareness that they are dumb.

incidentally that's why you can have a graduate degree and still be stupid.

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dingbat (May 7, 2019 - 8:52 am)

I wholly agree with you

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cargo (May 7, 2019 - 11:28 am)

Will be interesting to see what the follow up is on this. It seems pretty implausible that zero American attorneys in the Denver market speak Chinese. If Moqi is really qualified, I am sure she will be able to find jobs back home in her country.

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whiteguyinchina (May 8, 2019 - 2:32 am)

a fluent, speaking, reading, writing Mandarin speaker, just graduating with a Colorado bar admission? not zero, but I would bet it's less than ten in any one cycle.

just look at it from a sales point of view. San Francisco office has mainland china clients who want to buy property/get an eb5 visa/acquire a business/start a tech co. they do not speak English. who do you send into that meeting? Chris thomas, or Sherry Feldman /and a translator/ or moqi Liu?
got any one who can follow up on email?

likewise you wouldn't send moqi Liu to work on a deal by Bubba Gump shrimp co. to invest in a shrimping boat business in Louisiana. there is no benefit in that case.

I guess what I am saying is, these are two different types of labor pools you are considering.

yes she can go back to China but it's good she can help MAGA by helping Chinese investment money flow to America.

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dingbat (May 8, 2019 - 1:48 pm)

yeah, a friend of mine who was a native speaker in spanish worked for one of the big 4 accounting firms in a fairly niche area. He would always be asked to be on the team for any projects in south america, even when he had little to no experience, because they wanted to have native speakers on the team.

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interveningrights (May 8, 2019 - 4:38 pm)

Maybe. I doubt she can practice Chinese law since she attended a US law school. To qualify as a foreign attorney in China you also need to have practiced for a number of years in a foreign jurisdiction.

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dingbat (May 8, 2019 - 6:06 pm)

why would she need to practice Chinese law?

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interveningrights (May 8, 2019 - 6:17 pm)

Was referring to post above about her finding a job back in her home country. Assumed it was as a lawyer.

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