Posted on August 25, 2023

Activist Behind US Affirmative Action Cases Sues Major Law Firms

Nate Raymond, Reuters, August 22, 2023

A group founded by the conservative activist who led the successful U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the consideration of race in college admissions sued two major U.S. law firms on Tuesday over fellowships they offer to racial minorities and LGBT people, accusing them of unlawful bias against white candidates.

The American Alliance for Equal Rights sued Perkins Coie in Dallas and Morrison & Foerster in Miami two months after the Supreme Court sided with another group founded by activist Edward Blum and rejected affirmative action policies used by many colleges to increase enrollment of racial minorities.


The lawsuits came amid an uptick in legal challenges to corporate diversity programs in the wake of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling, with companies including Activision Blizzard, Kellogg and Gannett now facing complaints.

Perkins Coie, founded in Seattle, offers “diversity fellowships” that provide stipends of $15,000 to $25,000 and paid positions as summer associates, a position that at major law firms can lead to full-time jobs upon graduation.

Applicants must belong to “a group historically underrepresented in the legal profession, including students of color, students who identify as LGBTQ+, and students with disabilities,” according to Perkins Coie, which employs more than 1,200 lawyers in the United States and Asia.