How will Gibson Dunn respond? Where will this boycott end? What happened to the 2011 John Barrowman cutout? We demand answers.

A group of US law students has called on students and junior lawyers to boycott Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for "shielding corporate polluters". 

In a scathing letter published online, Law Students for Climate Accountability (LSCA) accused Gibson Dunn of advancing "the interests of corporations that cause immense harm to the climate and frontline communities, particularly Indigenous communities." 

LSCA accused Gibson Dunn of having a significant environmental impact and "incursion on sacred Sioux land", in its work on the Dakota Access pipeline.

The student group also slammed Gibson Dunn for what it called "scorched-earth tactics". The students claimed the US firm "aggressively litigated to ensure that Chevron evades liability for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste". It alleged that the Oil Major's actions "did irreversible environmental damage and caused widespread cancer and birth defects among Indigenous and campesino communities in Ecuador."

LSCA has encouraged students and junior lawyers to sign the online letter and pledge to boycott Gibson Dunn by refusing "to contribute to a firm that is doing so much to exacerbate a climate crisis that threatens every one of us with an unlivable future".

The student group also sent a public letter to Gibson Dunn in April this year, which was signed by 87 law student groups, calling on the firm to "commit to an ethical standard for its fossil fuel work." LSCA said they were "yet to receive a response."

A Climate Change Scorecard has been created by the student group, providing a "scale of top law firms' role in the climate crisis." The group said it analyses litigation, transactional and lobbying work by firms. In the 2020 report Gibson Dunn was joined by 25 other firms in the poorest, rating "F", category.

It remains to be seen where the boycotting will end - if students turn their backs on every firm which works for clients with ethical shortcomings, it is possible they will be left with very few options.

Gibson Dunn did not respond to a request for comment. 

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Anon 10 December 21 09:03

So it’s now up to students to decide which companies are allowed to get legal advice ?

Lydia 10 December 21 09:23

First they come for Gibson Dunn, then...

Everyone is allowed legal advice if they can afford it whether we agree with their views or not. I would even allow lawyers to act for people who have had the Covid vaccination. That is freedom.

Anonymous 10 December 21 09:33

GD partners held an emergency meeting, discussed the letter in detail and spent the day soul searching. They had to change, 87 students, it’s too many, we need their character, they cried.

Acting fast GD disinstructed all oil majors and forcibly turned litigation teams into ESG think tanks. With its new name “Green Gibson Dunn” GGD promised itself, the brave students and the world that it had forever changed. 

Santa 10 December 21 09:41

Hard to believe that Gibson Dunn will care about this. Students are of no value beyond their capacity to be hired as fee earners in the future and Gibson Dunn doesn't seem like the sort of firm that would put "uses gender pronouns and is always within 4 feet of a Bromley bike" on its list of what it is looking for in new recruits. 

Anonymous 10 December 21 09:50

Chilling stuff that we live in an age where non-negligible numbers of people seem to think it's ok to openly campaign to deny legal representation to those they disagree with.

Picketing Jones Day over acting for Trump was a bit of a scary moment, but you could kind of shrug it off as just one of the many madnesses of the day (it was a strange couple of weeks, a lot of strange stuff was said and done). But this time it's just a plain and simple pre-meditated attempt to deny legal representation.

Sure it comes wrapped up in green clothes, right-on sensibilities, and homilies about "punching up at evil corporations" but it's all just fascism by a different name.

Anon 10 December 21 10:32

It’s a pointless position to take because if GD was not acting, another firm or firms would gladly do so.  

Anon 10 December 21 10:43

I wonder how many of these students will gladly take offers of fairly lucrative jobs at similar firms.  Newsflash - all large law firms and many smaller firms act for corporates and the like and many of those companies will behave in ways that pose ethical questions.  

Anon 10 December 21 10:51

The law students with their vast experience and achievements in the legal profession are clearly best placed to assess the conduct and merits of litigation in relation to which they had zero involvement.  

Anonymous 10 December 21 12:13

I had a look at their web pages and at "Our Team" I find a person with the title "Firms & Client Outreach". Really? It sounds like reaching out for a shakedown, where the results are posted in their "Scorecard". This scorecard is supposedly based on a spreadsheet which in turn is bereft of any objective metrics. A list of litigations etc. does not form proper basis for the scores.

Anonymous 10 December 21 14:41

Pretty sure that anyone signing up to this wouldn’t have applied in the first place.  Always good to vent in your echo chamber though. 

Touker 10 December 21 15:53

Not surprising that left-leaning students seem to think that not everyone deserves legal representation. This is yet another dangerous idea from the wokeist school of thought.

LMAO 11 December 21 01:20

Oh no! How will Gibson Dunn survive?


It's not really a boycott if you could not get in in the first place.

Workers of the world unite 11 December 21 05:00

Radical marxists spout s@@@ before leaving university, getting married, settling down and quietly working for one of the organizations which so vexed them during their 3years as radical marxists.  Repeat. 

Je Suis Monty Don l'Autobus 13 December 21 05:28

I lost interest in Gibson Dunn when they changed their website so it didn't look like an old Wild West newspaper any more.

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