Law-Student Slam Board Costs Another Student His Job

from the for-real-this-time dept

Back in March, we posted a story about how some law-school students were blaming their lack of success in the job market on message-board postings that had been made about them. Of course, it wasn’t at all clear if the messages themselves really played any part in the students’ job hunts, and we noted at the time that if they did, it was probably a bit of an overreaction on the part of potential employers. Now, another law student has lost a job offer because of the site — only this time, it’s one of the site’s employees. Even though the student was the site’s “chief education director” and had no control over the message boards, a law firm that made him a job offer last August has withdrawn it, saying the site was against the “principles of collegiality and respect that members of the legal profession should observe in their dealings with other lawyers,” and refused to change its mind even after the student resigned his post. Some see it as the guy getting what he deserved, but this still seems like little more than an overreaction on par with other firms basing their employment decisions on anonymous postings by third parties beyond job applicants’ control.

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Comments on “Law-Student Slam Board Costs Another Student His Job”

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DoxAvg says:

A little disingenuous

I think there’s a wide span between legal culpability and moral complicity. Being a “Chief Director” at a website implies a fairly intimate knowledge and implicit endorsement of the theme and tenor of the site, if not the contents of posts by third parties. While I don’t think he should stand trial for any slander that’s posted, I think he’s a little too muddy to distance himself from the site.

I’m sorry, but if an applicant is the “Chief Cleansing Director” of, and is surprised that the Anti-Defamation League isn’t too keen on hiring him, he needs to do some serious thinking about actions and consequences. If he were looking for a job as a political pundit, or a meta-law blogger, he would have great credentials. As an pretender to a bona fide lawfirm, he’s messed his own bed.

emily says:

I think there was more to it...

What the interweb has told me is that this:

The objectionable posts on this website were largely sexual in nature – they targeted women, and were occasionally violent and racist in nature.

The women targeted asked this latest out-of-work student to remove the posts from the website. Whether or not he could actually do this, he refused to on the grounds of free speech.

The firm that refused to hire him cited his support of hate speech as part of their decision.

Links here and here.

Echoes of Kathy Sierra, no? On that note, I see you’ve all started signing your full names to your posts. I can’t seem to find anything talking about this switch, but I admit I didn’t look too hard. An attempt to associate professionalism with a lack of anonimity? I like it…

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