9 LI Leading Law Firms Join Meltzer Lippe in Signing Letter to Law School Deans

Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP is proud to announce that it has been joined by nine other Long Island based law firms in signing a letter urging law schools to denounce anti-Semitic conduct and violence. We stand with our fellow law firms against discrimination in all forms and remain committed to an inclusive and equitable world, within our firm, within the legal profession and in the communities in which we serve.

David Heymann, Meltzer Lippe’s Managing Partner stated “I am very proud that Meltzer Lippe took the lead on this most important action. Hatred of any kind against a group of people based on a person’s race, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs etc. should never be tolerated in our society. It is quite unfortunate that a letter of this nature was even necessary.”

Dear Law School Deans,

We represent some of the largest law firms on Long Island, and stand with many other law firms and businesses in expressing our extreme disappointment in the lack of condemnation by many law school deans and other administrators of anti-Semitic conduct by students and faculty members since the premeditated, barbaric rape and slaughter by Hamas on October 7, 2023 of some 1,400 Israelis, the vast majority of whom were civilian women, babies and children.

As educational and community leaders, it is your first and foremost obligation to protect all students, to speak out against hate of any kind and to provide an environment in which all students feel safe and can personally and professionally excel.  The importance of these obligations has become even more critical in light of the current environment and threats against Jewish students and other supporters of Israel.

As lawyers, we assure you that we are fully conversant with and supportive of the critical freedoms of expression that are protected by the First Amendment and myriad state constitutions.  However, we have witnessed during the past several weeks 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.  Indeed, such rhetoric has too often been accompanied by actual acts of mob intimidation that have placed Jewish students and other supporters of Israel in fear of imminent physical bodily harm.  In every sense, such “speech” constitutes “true threats,” under controlling Supreme Court jurisprudence.  Even if it did not, it is certainly unacceptable in an educational or professional environment.

Moreover, nothing in the First Amendment or analogous provisions of state constitutions precludes deans and other administrators of private and public law schools alike from at the very least discharging their duty to condemn unequivocally intimidating, incitant speech directed against Jewish students and other supporters of Israel.  For those of you who have done so, we thank you.  For those who have not, we respectfully urge you to do so.

Many of us recruit students at your schools or hire graduates from your institutions.  We write this letter to let you know that your actions will have a direct effect on whether we will continue to recruit and hire students for positions at our respective firms.

Very truly yours,

Abrams Fensterman, LLP
Harris Beach PLLC
L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, L.L.P.
Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP
Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP
Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP
Rivkin Radler LLP
Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C.
Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein, LLC
Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP