Business

White-shoe law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to screen job applicants for participation in anti-Israel protests

A white-shoe law firm whose clients have included Goldman Sachs, Google and Tesla will screen job applicants to determine whether they took part in incendiary anti-Israel protests, according to a report.

Sullivan & Cromwell has hired HireRight, a company that specializes in background checks, to scrutinize pro-Palestinian college graduates fresh out of law school who are seeking a job with the firm, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Job applicants who seek to work at Sullivan & Cromwell can be disqualified if they are found to have taken part in demonstrations in which protesters utter phrases that are “triggering” to Jews, according to Joseph Shenker, a partner at the firm.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a protest at the University of Toronto on July 3. A prominent Wall Street law firm says it will screen job applicants who take part in anti-Israel demonstrations. REUTERS

Sullivan & Cromwell will review news footage, social media feeds and viral videos to determine whether anyone applying for a job at the firm took part in protests.

“People are taking their outrage about what’s going on in Gaza and turning it into racist antisemitism,” Shenker told the Times.

Shenker said the firm, which employs more than 900 lawyers in 13 offices scattered across four continents, could disqualify a prospective employee even if they do not utter phrases that are deemed controversial.

He told the Times that anyone who takes part in a protest in which demonstrators chant antisemitic slogans was embracing a “mob mentality” and that they would be held responsible for comments made by others.

Shenker said the law firm will not interrogate applicants about their personal beliefs and opinions.

According to the Times, Sullivan & Cromwell rivals are mulling the adoption of similar rules for applicants.

Sullivan & Cromwell has hired a company that specializes in background checks. REUTERS

The Post has sought comment from Sullivan & Cromwell.

On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists overran Israeli towns near the border with the Gaza Strip, killing nearly 1,200 people and taking scores hostage.

Israel’s military response against Hamas in the Gaza Strip sparked massive protests and demonstrations across college campuses nationwide — with some participants chanting slogans deemed antisemitic.

In the weeks following the Hamas attacks, Davis Polk, a prominent law firm, rescinded job offers for three law students from Harvard and Columbia over their alleged connection to a letter circulating across the two campuses which blamed Israel.

Joseph Shenker, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, said the firm will not tolerate antisemitism. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Another law firm, Winston & Strawn, revoked a job offer for a New York University law student who wrote in a student bar association online publication that “Israel bears full responsibility” for Hamas’ deadly attack.

Rawda Fawaz, an attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations who was hired by a big law firm after graduating from Columbia in 2022, criticized the policy implemented by Sullivan & Cromwell.

“When we went through big law recruitment, we knew your social media better be clean, you better not have on there anything that you can’t defend, you have to be a respectable person to be able to get a job at any of these places,” Fawaz told the Times.

“That has always been the practice. Why do you have to have a special policy on this?”

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